Herpes transmission is the biggest concern for people with herpes. Often they don’t mind having symptoms as much as they worry about transmitting the virus. It seems that many would consider herpes to be no more than a nasty form of eczema if the risk of giving it to someone else did not exist. I had confirmation of this when I did an online survey with people who had already bought one of my books, Herpes Wise. To understand why people with herpes are so concerned with transmitting to someone else, one has to understand how herpes is transmitted and how tricky it can be to prevent transmission.
Herpes is a highly contagious virus that can be transmitted with or without any outward signs that the virus is present. Transmission is usually through skin-on-skin contact such as kissing and sexual contact. It can also be passed on by sharing a drinking glass or lipstick.
What makes herpes transmission especially hard to avoid is that carriers may not show any outward signs of the virus, but still be “shedding” the virus from their skin. It is not possible to predict when this asymptomatic shedding occurs.
Genital herpes is usually transmitted through sexual contact. Direct contact with the virus includes kissing or caressing infected areas and vaginal, anal or oral sex. If you have a cold sore and kiss a partner’s genital area you can infect that person with genital herpes.
Cold sores are a sign of oral herpes. They are usually on the lips, but can also appear inside the mouth and even on the face or neck. Oral herpes can also be passed on by kissing, with or without tongues. If you have a cold sore, you are infectious from the first sign of it.
The herpes virus can be spread from one part of the body to another, especially to the eyes. It is important to avoid touching an infected area during an outbreak and remember to wash your hands if you do.
There is little chance of catching the herpes virus through shared towels or toilet seats because the virus cannot live for very long outside the body. It is practically impossible to transmit herpes at the swimming pool, because the chlorine in the water kills the virus.
If you are someone who has herpes, then you will definitely want to inform yourself about the virus itself and all the ways you can prevent both oral herpes and genital herpes transmission.