Over the years, the number of sexually transmitted diseases has risen. This rise can be associated with the unsafe sex practices of some people around the world. That's why governments continue to integrate sex education in schools to educate the youth regarding the dangers of unprotected sexual intercourse and changing sexual partners frequently. In the same way, health ministries also do their part in spreading awareness to equip adults with the correct information regarding STDs.
One of the most common STDs that affect the lives of people with active and unprotected sexual lifestyles is genital herpes. Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) type one or two. HSV-1 may lead to oral herpes and affect the face and mouth. On the other hand, HSV-2 may cause genital herpes and attack the buttocks, anus, rectum, and other areas below the waist. It's essential to learn about them so that your sex life will not be affected by their presence. Moreso, your confidence will likely decrease when you have them.
But what exactly is the difference between HSV-1 and HSV 2? Read on for more.
Difference And Link Between HSV-1 And HSV-2
HSV-1 may spread through contact with the virus in sores, semen, saliva, and other bodily secretions. For instance, it might be transferred from an infected person to an uninfected one through kissing, skin contact, or oral sex. The virus could also be transmitted or contracted if one share sharp objects and food utensils with an infected person or touches their herpes sore. Even though HSV-1 is believed to affect the mouth and face, it could spread to the genital area during oral sex.
On the other hand, HSV-2 may be transferred through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person. It could also spread via direct contact with bodily secretions and herpes sores of an individual with the virus. It might be through kissing, penetrative or oral intercourse, skin contact at the infection area, or sharing sex toys. Though HSV-2 is thought to affect areas below the waist, it can spread to the mouth during oral sex.
With these said, it can be daunting to think if you are in a situation like you're a victim of this virus. So to avoid such an STD, continue reading this article to equip you with the correct information about genital herpes and reduce the risk of getting it.
How To Prevent Genital Herpes Infection
There’s much to know about genital herpes. For instance, it may not be possible to develop immunity against it. You can learn more here about that or conduct research from reliable journals, books, and other online sources.
Also, it’s thought that herpes has no cure or a vaccine yet. Therefore, anyone with it might only manage it with self-care measures and medications. For people without, preventative steps are advisable to avoid infection.
Here are some things you could do to avoid getting genital herpes:
Practice Safe Sex
Genital herpes may be spread from one person to another through bodily fluids or skin contact during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. One of the ways to lower the risk of getting it may be by practicing safe sex. It means you should use protection when having sex, regardless of if you do or don’t know if your partner is infected. During intercourse, wear a condom or use dental dams in case of oral sex.
Herpes could still spread through contact with sores on the upper thighs, butt cheeks, labia, and scrotum. These are areas that a condom or dental dam might not cover. If you notice that your partner has sores, it may be best to abstain from sex until you’re sure they don’t have herpes.
In some cases, genital herpes symptoms may not be easy to identify, and the sores might be hard to spot. Even then, the virus could still spread from one person to another. Therefore, if you aren’t sure of your partner’s status, it may be best to avoid having sex with them until they undergo tests.
Avoid Having Multiple Sex Partners
Having multiple sexual partners raises the risk of herpes virus exposure. Besides that, it also improves the likelihood of contracting chlamydia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other sexually transmitted infections or diseases. It’s best to avoid having multiple sexual partners. This way, you’ll be less likely to get herpes and other sexual illnesses.
It may also be best to ask your partner about their sexual history before you become intimate with them. It could be an awkward conversation, but it might help lower your risk of contracting herpes or other STDs and STIs. A person who has had many sexual partners may be more likely to have HSV-1 or HSV-2. Therefore, it may be best to wait until they’re tested before you’re intimate with them.
Don’t Have Sex When Intoxicated
Alcohol and drugs can impair a person’s judgment. It means that when you are intoxicated, you might end up engaging in intercourse without protection. Also, you might have sex with someone you wouldn’t when you were sober, or you could get sexually violated. These factors can increase the risk of acquiring genital herpes and other STDs and STIs.
If you’re drinking out, limit the alcohol you take to avoid intoxication. This way, you’ll be alert in case of anything and could make clear and better decisions regarding sex. Also, ensure you have a trusted friend or relative to take you home to prevent getting violated. It may be best to join a rehabilitation center if you struggle with drug or alcohol abuse because it can be easy to get sexually harassed when intoxicated.
Genital herpes is a sexual illness with no cure. However, it’s preventable. In this article, you’ve learned about things you could do to help lower the risk of contracting the virus. As advised, practice safer sex, avoid many intimate partners, and don’t engage in intercourse when intoxicated.