The key to stopping the spread of HSV 2 is understanding genital herpes prevention. The herpes simplex virus is spread only through skin-to-skin contact or mucous membrane contact. Common occurrences of skin-to-skin contact that result in the spread of the virus include penile-vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral-genital sex, and other sexual body-to-body contact.
To reduce the risk of transmitting genital herpes, people who have the virus should avoid sexual contact from the time they first feel any symptoms until their lesions are completely healed. During periods when there are no signs of an outbreak, genital herpes prevention is still advisable. Latex condoms offer significant protection against the spread of HSV 2 to women. However, because the effected area of a woman can be so wide, using a condom does not necessarily protect a man as well as a woman. It's important to note that lambskin or other natural membrane condoms should not be used for genital herpes prevention because naturally occurring pores in the material are large enough to allow some viruses to pass through. The FDA recommends latex condoms or polyurethane condoms for those sensitive to latex.
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