It is possible to prevent herpes infection and many couples are in relationships for years without transmitting the virus.
Some avoid sexual contact when symptoms are present while others use condoms or other protection during outbreaks.
Provided people take the necessary precautions the risk of transmitting the herpes virus is quiet small can can be reduced by as much as 40% by using condoms.
But couples should really avoid sexual contact whilst the virus is active and symptoms are prevalent as this is when the herpes virus is most likely to be transmitted. Sexual relations can also prolong the healing period during an outbreak.
It is very important that you tell your partner if you have been infected by herpes. Whilst this may often be the hardest step it is better to be honest and then you can both work together to safe guard against transmission.
By having sex with a non-infected partner who has sex only with you (mutual monogamy) you are greatly decreasing the chance of spreading the herpes virus to other people.
Condoms offer useful protection against herpes, protecting or covering the mucous membranes which are the most likely sites of infection.
However they are not 100% as a condom may not cover all the areas of infection.