5 Myths About Herpes, Busted!

Herpes is common. Really common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in six adults has genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by herpes simplex virus. (To learn more about the two types of herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, check out the CDC’s herpes fact sheet). While it may be super-common, there are still a lot of myths out there about it—here are five I hear a lot.

Myth 1: If I don’t have any sores, I don’t have herpes.

Herpes can lay dormant (sort of like it’s in hibernation) for years without causing any noticeable symptoms. Because of this, many people don’t know they have it and may have trouble figuring out how or when they got it. When symptoms do occur, they often appear as small blisters on or around the genitals. The blisters may look like pimples with clear fluid in them, and they may be painful or have a burning sensation. The best way to find out if you have herpes is to see a health care provider if you have pain, blisters or a sore.

Myth 2: We didn’t have sex, so there’s no way I have genital herpes.

Herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who carries the virus. That means you can get herpes by touching, kissing and oral, vaginal, or anal sex. People who carry herpes don’t always know they have the virus, and they may not have any visible sores on their skin.

That said, your risk of getting the virus is higher if you’ve had contact with a partner who does have a visible sore. Using condoms can majorly decrease the risk of spreading the virus, but doesn’t eliminate it completely. Unfortunately, no other type of birth control reduces the risk of this STI.

Myth 3: There’s a cure for herpes…right?

First, the bad news: Once you have herpes, it will be with you for the rest of your life. The virus can lay dormant for long stretches of time, then cause “outbreaks” at times of stress or illness.

Now, the good news: There are medications you can take to make an outbreak go away faster. If you only get outbreaks once every few years, you can take the medications just when you have an outbreak. If you get outbreaks more often, you might benefit from taking a medication daily to prevent them. A discussion with your healthcare provider will help you decide which strategy is best for you.

Myth 4: I can’t have a baby if I have herpes.

This is something many women worry about when they find out they have herpes. Thankfully, it’s not true. Many women living with herpes give birth to healthy babies. However, if you have herpes it is important for you to let your healthcare provider know so he or she can monitor you for symptoms. If at the time of your labor you have any sores on your cervix, vagina, or the skin around your vagina, or if you’re experiencing symptoms like tingling or burning, your provider will recommend a caesarean section to prevent transmission of the virus to your baby. If you don’t have any symptoms, you can safely have a vaginal delivery.

Myth 5: Herpes is something to be ashamed of.

This is the most important myth to bust: While living with herpes can (literally) be a pain, it’s incredibly common and nothing to be ashamed of. For more information on this virus, check out the CDC’s Fact Sheet about it. For a more personal take on living with an STI—along with resources and support—check out The STD Project, a site founded and run by a woman who’s living with herpes.

 

Related:
How to Make Sex Safer in 4 Simple Steps
Pregnancy and Herpes
13 Dos & Don’ts for the Doctor’s Office

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Grace Shih, MD, MAS, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She has a family medicine practice at the San Francisco General Hospital’s Family Health Center. When she’s not seeing patients, you can find her cooking, hiking, or salsa dancing.

Originally published on bedsider.org

1315 comments

 .
.yesterday

Hello everybody!!!
I don't just know the reason why some people is finding it difficult to
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since last three years with my wife but today I am happy that am cure from
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browsing the internet searching for help when I came across a testimony
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so much happy today that we have someone like this great healer out there,
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 .
.yesterday

Hello everybody!!!
I don't just know the reason why some people is finding it difficult to
believe that there is a cure for herpes, I have been suffering from herpes
since last three years with my wife but today I am happy that am cure from
it with the herbal medicine made by Dr Tunde the great healer, I was
browsing the internet searching for help when I came across a testimony
shared by someone on how Dr Tunde cure her from Herpes Virus. I quickly
contacted him to get the cure and today i am now free from the virus, I am
so much happy today that we have someone like this great healer out there,
so' people out there kindly contact this great doctor on his email address:
babatundesolutioncentre1@gmail.com please sir keep your good work cause
there are people out there who is in need of your healing medicine.once
more contact him now on his other email:babatundesolutioncentre@outlook.com
or whatsapp him +2348143581382

SEND
Angela G
Angela Gyesterday

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Angela G
Angela Gyesterday

I can't express my gratitude to Dr Hope for making me a living testimony. i have battled with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 for about 7years now, and i have done all i can to make sure i am cured but nothing worked out, but miraculously my friend invited me to see a video on his Blog and as i visited i decided to see few of the comment below, and i found some people talking about Dr. Hope, and i decided to contact this great herbal healer to also help me,so i wrote to him, and he replied me back and assure me that i will get a cure for my HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2. and after preparing my medicine he sent it to me and when i started using it for 2weeks i was completely cured, I am assuring you that you will be cured if you also contact this great man on his Email: hopeherbalhome@gmail.com or Call/Whatsapp: 2348167104943.

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.1 days ago

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Angela Grier G
Angela Grier G1 days ago

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.3 days ago

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am now cured after using his herbal Medicine.. You can also reach him
dr.unuareghecuringhome@gmail..com or reach him on +2349067894643 he also
special on curing
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6...LOVE SPELL
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Past Member
Past Member 3 days ago

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.4 days ago

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