How long is herpes contagious?

Answer

According to the New York Times, herpes is most contagious up to seven days before and seven days after an outbreak. However, because it is not possible to predict when an outbreak will occur, it is important for herpes-infected individuals to practice safe sex at all times to prevent transmissions, according to the New York Times.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control states that using condoms regularly during sexual intercourse and taking anti-viral medications are the only ways to lessen transmission rates of herpes. However, because herpes sores are commonly present on areas not covered by a condom, this is not a fail-safe method, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. According to Fox News, it is also possible to transmit the virus without any symptoms of infection. While the virus lies dormant in many people, it causes sores or lesions that are itchy and painful in others, according to Fox News.

If sores are present, sexual contact should be avoided until the sores are healed and other symptoms of herpes are no longer present, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The only way to avoid transmission is to abstain from sexual contact or be in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

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