Herpes simplex type 1, which is transmitted through oral secretions or sores on the skin, can be spread through kissing or sharing objects such as toothbrushes or eating utensils. In general, a person can only get herpes type 2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. It is important to know that both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread even if sores are not present.
Pregnant women with genital herpes should talk to their doctor as genital herpes can be passed on to the baby during childbirth.
For many people with the herpes virus, attacks (or outbreaks) of herpes can be brought on by the following conditions:
General illness (from mild illnesses to serious conditions)
Physical or emotional stress
Immunosuppression due to AIDS or such medications as chemotherapy or steroids
Trauma to the affected area, including sexual activity
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