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

840 comments

Daniel S.
Daniel S.6 hours ago

I'm Daniel Silver, I am here to testify about this powerful Herbal Doctor, Doctor Okadukpon who helped me out of my illness . I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) in 2015, i was going to so many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be OK. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can get solution. so a lady walked to me and asked why am I so sad and i open up all to her and told her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) and gave me his email, so i mailed him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after one week the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) that was in my body got healed i did the test again and i was confirmed negative. so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him with is email as;(okadukpon_herbalhome@hotmail.com) or (okadukponherbalhome@gmail.com). You can call his number (+2349035319466). He is also able to cure all manner of VIRUS even (COPD), HIV/AIDS, Lower Respiratory Infections, Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancers, Diarrheal Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Preterm Birth Complications, Tuberculosis (TB).

Daniel S.
Daniel S.6 hours ago

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Wilson K.
Wilson K.21 hours ago

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Wilson K.
Wilson K.21 hours ago

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Daniel S.
Daniel S.yesterday

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Daniel S.
Daniel S.yesterday

How can I explain this to the world that there is a man who can cure HERPES, I was diagnosed for the past 3years I was having this HERPES since 3year, so I decide to look for help in the internet then I found this man post write about this great man called DR. EDE-MEME, people say good thing about him that this man have cured, a lot of people in the internet, him has power's to cure HSV1 AND HSV2 I don’t believe that there is a cure for Herpes Simplex Virus because though there is no cure for herpes that what I have in mind HERPES had no cure well well, my HERPES is negative through the using of herbal cured of EDE-MEME, I contacted this man for help because of what i see in the internet. if you need his cured just email him now on edeharbelhome@gmail.com, thank you DR. i will never stop shearing you testimony DR. EDE- MEME. him Can as will CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:- 1, HIV/AIDS, 2, Diseases of the hear 3, Malignant tumors 4. Cardiovascular diseases 5. Diabetes mellifluous 6.Influenza and pneumonia 7.Alzheimer's disease 8. hsv1 - hsv2. If you need LOVE SPELL. E.T.C contact him @ edeharbelhome@gmail.com or edeharbelhome22@hotmail.com

Daniel S.
Daniel S.yesterday

I'm Daniel Silver, I am here to testify about this powerful Herbal Doctor, Doctor Okadukpon who helped me out of my illness . I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) in 2015, i was going to so many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be OK. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can get solution. so a lady walked to me and asked why am I so sad and i open up all to her and told her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) and gave me his email, so i mailed him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after one week the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) that was in my body got healed i did the test again and i was confirmed negative. so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him with is email as;(okadukpon_herbalhome@hotmail.com) or (okadukponherbalhome@gmail.com). You can call his number (+2349035319466). He is also able to cure all manner of VIRUS even (COPD), HIV/AIDS, Lower Respiratory Infections, Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancers, Diarrheal Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Preterm Birth Complications, Tuberculosis (TB).

Daniel S.
Daniel S.yesterday

I'm Daniel Silver, I am here to testify about this powerful Herbal Doctor, Doctor Okadukpon who helped me out of my illness . I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) in 2015, i was going to so many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be OK. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can get solution. so a lady walked to me and asked why am I so sad and i open up all to her and told her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) and gave me his email, so i mailed him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after one week the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2 (HSV2) that was in my body got healed i did the test again and i was confirmed negative. so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him with is email as;(okadukpon_herbalhome@hotmail.com) or (okadukponherbalhome@gmail.com). You can call his number (+2349035319466). He is also able to cure all manner of VIRUS even (COPD), HIV/AIDS, Lower Respiratory Infections, Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancers, Diarrheal Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Preterm Birth Complications, Tuberculosis (TB).

Mike K.
Mike K.yesterday

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Bekker M.
Bekker M.yesterday

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{1} HIV/AIDS
{2CANCER
{3}HERPES
{4}DIABETES
(5}HERPERTITIS B
(6}HPV
{7}He can as well cure weak errection
{8}PREGNANCY PROBLEM