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Genital herpes prevention

Practising safe sex is the best way to help prevent genital herpes infection.

It is safest to:

  • always use condoms and dental dams, even when there are no sores or blisters present. Condoms can reduce the risk of infection by 75% or more. However, they only protect the area of skin covered by the condom or dental dam
  • avoid sex when there are sores or blisters present - you are most infectious at this time
  • avoid sex with someone who has any blisters, sores or other symptoms of genital herpes
  • avoid oral sex when there is any sign of a cold sore.

Last reviewed: June 2015

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