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Some experts say that more than 50% of new Genital Herpes cases are caused by HSV-1, often due to oral-to-genital sexual transmission. After outbreak, the virus goes into “latency.” While latent, HSV lives in a kind of state of suspended animation, in the nerve centers in the spine: genital HSV in the sacral nerve roots (ganglia) at the base of the spine, and oral-facial HSV in the trigeminal nerve roots at the base of the neck.
When reactivated due to a physical or emotional stimulus, HSV begins to replicate, and travels the nerve pathways to the surface of the skin.
Someone who has frequent outbreaks has a much higher likelihood of shedding the virus when there are no visible signs of herpes present.
If you or your partner has frequent outbreaks, it’s important to use protection.
The transmission rate was also lower for those who used condoms.
The greater risk of acquisition for women may be due partly to anatomy, and partly because, generally, men tend to have more frequent outbreaks, while women tend to have more severe outbreaks.
Many people are not aware that their “cold sores” can be transmitted to their partner’s genitals during oral sex, so it’s important to refrain from such activity during any oral outbreaks, sores, and prodrome.
The virus may also spread during times when there are no symptoms, and from sites that are seemingly inactive.More frequent outbreaks means more times there is virus on the surface of the skin, and hence a greater the risk of transmission.The best way to avoid transmission is to abstain from sexual activity during prodrome and outbreaks, and to use condoms the rest of the time.Most incidences of genital Herpes occur during genital-to-genital contact.There is, however, a significant percentage of genital herpes infections resulting from oral to genital sexual contact.