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How can I avoid getting herpes?

walk_on_wallswalk_on_walls Posts: 191 Mod Squad
edited April 2017 in Nurse Nettie
Hi @Nurse_Nettie

I've heard herpes is really common and most people will get it in their lifetime. I really don't want to get it. What do I have to do (or not do)?


  • Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie Posts: 319 Mod Squad
    :) Hi @walk_on_walls! this is a really good question. The reality is that it's not possible to 100% avoid herpes. Kissing or having sex with someone you like is really healthy so we don't want to stop that! There are many ways to reduce the risk...these include not having sex if there are any sores or broken skin on the penis, testes, vagina or bum as well as not kissing or having oral sex if there are signs of cold sores on the lips. Using condoms or dental dams (for oral sex) does help a lot too. If a person has symptoms of herpes, they also can take antiviral medication which may reduce the risk of passing it on by 50%.
    You're right in that herpes is common. The good news is that herpes may never be a physical health issue for most people.   
  • Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie Posts: 319 Mod Squad
    These are great questions @walk_on_walls! Usually people who have herpes infection don't have symptoms. In fact 7 out of 10 of people have HSV 1 & 1 in 8 have HSV 2 infection- it's really common, however  only a few people develop symptoms of cold sores around the mouth or symptoms on the genitals. Does this make sense?..sometimes herpes can be complicated to understand....
  • walk_on_wallswalk_on_walls Posts: 191 Mod Squad
    So even if I get it, there's a good chance I won't have any symptoms? That doesn't sound so bad.
  • Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie Posts: 319 Mod Squad
    That's right! Remember too, if you do happen to get symptoms it's usually pretty easy to manage them.
  • walk_on_wallswalk_on_walls Posts: 191 Mod Squad
    Thanks for the advice :)
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