Because herpes is spread through sexual contact, the best way to prevent it is to abstain from having sex.

Sexual contact with more than one partner or with someone who has more than one partner further increases the risk of contracting any STD.

But the virus might reactivate later, leading to sores that usually don't last as long as those during the first outbreak.

These medications can't cure HSV2, but they can help make a person feel better and shorten the duration of outbreaks or prevent them.

People who know they carry the herpes virus also can take medication daily as suppressive therapy.

The female condom, made of polyurethane, is also considered effective against STDs.

Using douche can actually increase a female's risk of contracting STDs because it can change the natural flora (healthy bacteria) of the vagina and may flush STD pathogens higher into the genital tract.

After the herpes blisters disappear, a person may think the virus has gone away — but it's actually hiding in the body.

Both HSV1 and HSV2 can stay hidden away in the body until the next herpes outbreak, when the virus reactivates itself and the sores return.

So people who are infected can unknowingly spread the infection to someone else.

To treat a genital herpes outbreak, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine in the form of an ointment or pills.

Bumps and blisters may appear on the vagina, penis, scrotum, anus, thigh, or buttocks.