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.