Over 20% of the adult population in the United States has genital herpes. The virus lives in specialized nerve cells and periodically reactivates and flows into the genital tract. People are capable of transmitting the disease at this time. Most people are unaware of these episodes of reactivation. Genital herpes is not a serious disease. It causes no permanent harm and does not cause cancer. It is a contagious sexual transmitted disease that recurs periodically with minor symptoms.
Many people who have the disease think they have “the plague”. They avoid sexual contact and relationships. Condoms are very effective for protecting women. Vaginal secretions can infect men who are wearing condoms. Patients who have genital herpes can greatly reduce the chance of transmission by taking a few steps. First use condoms. Take valacyclovir in suppressive doses such as 1 g a day or 500 mg per day. Suppressive therapy effectively prevents recurrences, decreases viral shedding and decreases the rate of transmission of disease. The chance of transmitting the disease will then be very low.
Some people suggest that you should tell any prospective partner that you have genital herpes. Consider all of the implications of telling people your medical history. Some people will discuss your private medical history with many other people with obvious consequences.