Most men know that by wearing a condom you lessen the chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, but maintaining your sexual health doesn’t stop there.
Knowing all of the different ways you can catch an STD, will only assist you in your efforts in staying healthy. The herpes virus is a prime example of an STD that can be caught in other ways outside of sex.
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1), and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2), live inside the sores that a person develops once they’re infected. These sores will surface on different parts of the body depending on the stage of Herpes the patient has.
Although HSV-1 can produce blisters around the genital area, it will typically cause outbreaks near the mouth and lips. HSV-2 will create these same sores in and around your penis and anus.
Once these liquid filled bumps rupture, and blood or pus is secreted, a person can contact herpes once it enters the body through an opening.
Semen and vaginal fluid can also carry the herpes virus, as both the penis and vagina contain soft tissue making it very easy for the virus to be absorbed in these areas. Having unprotected sex is the easiest way one can be infected, but “dry humping”, or having body friction with your partner, can also cause blisters to break and spread fluid.
Exchanging saliva with an infected person will also transfer the virus. Kissing, coughing, sneezing, sharing eating utensils, or drinking glasses can pass Herpes on to another person. The saliva must enter the skin in order for the virus to be received.
Most people who have herpes do not realize they have it until and outbreak appears. It typically takes two to three weeks for symptoms to appear after a person is first infected. It will sometimes taken even longer for a patient to be diagnosed, as outbreaks are often times confused with rashes, pimples or insect bites. A simple blood test from your doctor can determine if you have been infected or not.
Safe sex doesn’t end with simply wearing a condom, as herpes can be transmitted through other ways outside of sexual intercourse. To maintain overall sexual health, it’s best to educate yourself on all STD’s, and learn all of the ways they can be both caught and prevented.