Any person who is sexually active can be infected with genital herpes. Abstaining from oral, vaginal, and anal sex is the most assured way to remain uninfected. However, if you are sexually active, there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk of becoming infected with genital herpes:
STD testing is the best way to monitor your status and your partner's status. Don't let the cost of healthcare deter you from knowing your status. Many local clinics and health facilities offer free screening tests.
2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Updated March 9, 2016. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Beauman JG. Genital herpes: a review. Am Fam Physician. 2005;72(8):1527-1534.
Genital herpes. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 8, 2016. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Genital herpes—CDC fact sheet (detailed). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm. Updated November 17, 2015. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Jones CA. Vertical transmission of genital herpes: prevention and treatment options. Drugs. 2009;69(4):421-434.
3/17/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: LeFevre ML, US Preventive Services Task Force. Behavioral counseling interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(12):894-901.
Last reviewed June 2016 by James Cornell, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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