Antibodies that develop following an initial infection with a type of HSV prevents reinfection with the same virus type—a person with a history of orofacial infection caused by HSV-1 cannot contract herpes whitlow or a genital infection caused by HSV-1. [ citation needed ] In a monogamous couple, a seronegative female runs a greater than 30% per year risk of contracting an HSV infection from a seropositive male partner.  If an oral HSV-1 infection is contracted first, seroconversion will have occurred after 6 weeks to provide protective antibodies against a future genital HSV-1 infection. Herpes simplex is a double-stranded DNA virus . 
Herpes infections are spread from skin-to-skin . That means that barriers aren't 100% protective. However, condoms and other barriers can reduce the risk of transmitting herpes to a partner. In addition, if a person knows they are infected, there are other options to reduce risk. Suppressive therapy doesn't just reduce the frequency of outbreaks. It also reduces the likelihood of transmission during use of valacyclovir, and other herpes anti-viral medications has been shown to reduce viral shedding and the risk of herpes being passed to a partner.
Sitavig (acyclovir) buccal tablet was approved by the . Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2013 to treat recurrent cold sores in adults with a healthy immune system. One tablet is applied as a single 50 mg dose to the upper gum regionabove one of the incisors. The medication should be applied within an hour after the onset of symptoms (., tingling sensation) on the same side as the tingling before cold sores appear . It should be held in place for about 30 seconds to ensure adhesion. Side effects are usually minor and include pain at the site of application and headache.