Kissing, sexual contact, oral secretions, sharing personal objects such as toothbrushes, and direct contact with herpes sores are all common ways for HSV-1 to spread. HSV-2 is rarely transmitted through means other than sex and direct contact with herpes-positive genitals. Herpes patients frequently do not exhibit symptoms at first. It can take weeks, months, or even years for symptoms to appear, allowing the virus to spread. Though it is critical to always practice safe sex, herpes can be transmitted even when protection is used. This is why it’s critical to have an open and honest conversation about your partner’s status, to be aware of the symptoms to look out for, and to understand that herpes can be contracted even when no symptoms are present.