Herpes is spread through close personal contact with an infected person, such as through skin-to-skin contact or the exchange of body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluids, or blood. The herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be spread through:
- Sexual contact: Herpes can be spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
- Kissing: Herpes can be spread through kissing if the infected person has herpes sore in or around their mouth.
- Sharing personal items: Herpes can be spread by sharing personal items such as towels, razors, or eating utensils if the things have come into contact with herpes sores.
- Childbirth: Pregnant women with herpes can infect their babies during delivery.
It’s important to note that herpes can be spread even if the infected person has no visible sores or other symptoms. The virus can be shed from the skin even when no symptoms are present, and it can infect others through close personal contact.