Whether it is genital herpes or oral herpes, this condition can be a difficult one to manage because it is so easy to spread the virus. Learning how to avoid spreading herpes is very important for everyone who suffers an outbreak, and it is vital that safe practices be used. Even during times of no outbreak, the following practices will help to insure that the virus cannot be spread. Here are some guidelines that can explain how to avoid spreading the herpes virus.
Avoid Sexual Contact During Outbreaks
During an outbreak of genital herpes, sexual contact of any type should be avoided. Genital herpes can easily be spread through sexual contact, and the use of prophylactics does not guarantee that the virus will not be spread. Genital herpes can be spread from regions that are not protected by a prophylactic. It is generally recommended by doctors that sexual contact should be avoided for at least one week after the sores from an outbreak have fully healed.
Use Protection Even between Outbreaks
Even though there may not be a current herpes outbreak, it is still possible to pass the herpes virus through sexual contact. Therefore, herpes sufferers should use prophylactics for all sexual contact, even where there is no outbreak.
Avoid Kissing and Oral Contact
During an outbreak of oral herpes, it is important to avoid kissing or any type of oral contact with others because cold sores can easily spread the herpes virus. Never share drinks, drink out of the same straw or can, or eat off the same fork as others because the virus can be spread in these ways as well.
Be Conscious about Touching Sores
Herpes sores, especially those in the mouth area, may be touched unconsciously by those suffering from herpes. It is important to be very conscious about not touching the sores, because any area that you touch thereafter can then become infected. The herpes virus could be spread to the nose, inner mouth, eyes, or other regions of the body after only a brief touch to a cold sore.
Wash Hands and Use Antibacterial Hand Gel
Even though a herpes sufferer may be very vigilant about not touching sores and not spreading the virus, there are still times that some incidental contact with the sores may occur. As a safeguard, it is helpful to maintain a routine of regular hand washing with hot water and soap. When hot water and soap is not available, antibacterial hand gel is a good substitute but should never be used exclusively in place of hand washing. After washing hands, do not wipe the hands on a towel that others will then have contact with because it is possible to spread the virus in this way. Always attempt to find a hand dryer or use disposable towels to dry hands.