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How Effective are Condoms at Preventing Herpes

Snr By Vatsal Anand , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Mar 18, 2013
How Effective are Condoms at Preventing Herpes

Using condom is not completely protective for spread of herpes but it does reduce the risk. Herpes prevention has not got the attention it deserves from authorities and public as it is not a fatal disease.

Transmission of herpes virus cannot be prevented completely but to a degree. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease which does not spread through transfer of bodily fluids from one person to another. Instead, it is spread through skin to skin contact. Condoms prevent herpes only if they cover the area in which it is located, i.e. if herpes is located beyond the penis, there is every chance of spread.


Condoms Preventing HerpesYou still need to be using the condoms simply because the protection, even though partial, is very significant. With condoms, you are rest assured about protection from HIV as the semen is completely blocked. A study carried out in 2009 to know about the effect of condoms in prevention of herpes transmission concluded that using condoms consistently reduced the risk of contracting herpes by 30 %. The researchers insisted upon the consistent use of condoms for increased chances of protection and that every unprotected sex increased the chances of transmission.


There are ways other than condoms for preventing the spread of herpes. These are in the form of suppression therapy and paying heed to precaution. Suppression therapy is helpful in removing the symptoms of the disease and also the amount of virus shedding. The precaution is simply not to have sex during or after an outbreak of the infection. Despite questions on condom effectiveness for herpes prevention, it does offer some sort of protection and you cannot be any better without it.


Since the more fatal sexually transmitted disease AIDS attracts more attention of the public and hence more efforts and funding for research, there has been very little work done on the herpes. The precious little data due to research efforts of some professionals suggest that rate of infection’s spread in people using condoms is much less when compared with those who do not. This should ring a bell for thousands of people in the world who suffer from the disease despite having an option of preventing it.


A case in point is the population of USA where half a million new cases of herpes occur every year. It is actually more than the no. of people who acquire AIDS every year. Preventing herpes is not so much a priority for the administration as it is not fatal but the devastating psychological effect that is caused due to the disease merits it. So, apart from the use of condoms or other barrier methods of contraception and STD prevention, there is no preventive method available.


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