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People are often surprised to learn how common genital herpes (HSV-2) is.

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Please also keep in mind that these statistics only account for genital herpes caused by the HSV-2 strain! Unfortunately, when clinicians give “standard” STD check-ups, they don’t include tests for HSV-1 or HSV-2, unless it is specifically requested.

This only exacerbates herpes’ prevalence and the ignorance around it. Many couples have a healthy sex life and still never transmit it to the uninfected partner.

Taking precautions like avoiding sex during and around the time of an outbreak, using condoms and taking antiviral medication like Valocyclovir (Valtrex) or Acyclovir drastically reduces the likelihood of transmission.

The statistics indicate that it’s possible to get your chances of transmitting HSV-2 down very low.

Discuss your herpes status with your partner, well before the two of you have sexual contact.