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5 Myths About Herpes, Busted!

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

____________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Read more: College Life, General Health, Gynecology, Health, Life, Sex, Sexual Health, , , , , ,

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75 comments

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5:46PM PST on Jan 26, 2015

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5:26PM PST on Jan 26, 2015

I have reported the spam

5:25PM PST on Jan 26, 2015

Too many spammers here

4:54PM PST on Jan 26, 2015

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1

3:11PM PST on Jan 26, 2015

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1:49PM PST on Jan 25, 2015

Greetings to the general public, Am Simran Mendy i want to inform the public how i was cured of HERPES Simplex Virus by a Doctor called Harrison.i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HERPES and i saw comment of people talking about how Doctor Harrison cured them. I Was scared because i never believed in the Internet but i was convince to give him a try because i was having no hope of been cured of HERPES so i decided to contact him on his email that was listed on the comment (sacredspelltemple@hotmail.com ) i searched his email on net and i saw a lot of people testifying about his goodness. when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HERPES result came out negative. I pray for you Dr Harrison God will give you everlasting life, you shall not die before your time for being a sincere and great men. Am so happy, you can also contact him if you have any problem Email: SACREDSPELLTEMPLE@HOTMAIL.COM. you can contact me for more information +1989-541-7345 or email me on simranmendy@gmail.com

3:05AM PST on Jan 21, 2015

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5:06PM PST on Jan 19, 2015

I am out here to testify about the good work Dr eru has done in my life with his healing spell. I have be suffering from herpes diseases for the past 2yeares now before I came across Dr eru who healed me with his powerful healing spell. I never believe that Dr eru could ever get my herpes cured with his healing spell, i have tried almost everything but i couldn’t find any solution to my disease, despite all these happening to me, i always spend a lot to buy a HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i come across a great post of a lady who was tstifying about how she get cured of her herpes disease with the help of these great powerful healing spell caster called Dr eru. So i have to contact him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing i will never forget that anyone who contacted him is always getting his or her healing in just 3 days after doing all he ask from me, so i was happy all the time i heard that from him, so i did all things only to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed,I regain all the strength that has left me before back and i becomes very strong and healthy,this disease almost end my life, so i went to the hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said i am new ferry from herpes , i am very happy and grateful to Dr eru about the healing he have given to me with his healing spell. You can also email him for any kind o

4:02PM PST on Jan 18, 2015

my name is Armanda am na happy again i am free thank to dr olufa
who will believe that a herb can cure HIV in my body, i never believe that this will work i have spend a lot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, what i was waiting for is death because i was broke, one day i hard about this great man who is well know of HIV and cancer cure, i decided to email him, unknowingly to me that this will be the end of the HIV aids in my body, he prepare the herb for me, and give me instruction on how to take it, at the end of the two week, he told me to go to the hospital for a check up, and i went, surprisingly after the test the doctor confirm me negative, i thought it was a joke, i went to other hospital was also negative, then i took my friend who was also HIV positive to the Dr, after the treatment she was also confirm negative . He also have the herb to cure cancer please i want every one with this virus to be free, that is why am dropping his email address, (olufahomeofsolution@outlook.com) do email him he is a great man. think you for saving my life, and I promise I will always testify for your good work thank you dr olufa for your help to me.

3:54PM PST on Jan 18, 2015

my name is armanda
hello every one did you no that there is herb spell doctor that can cure HIV with is herb spell i was HIV positive and this man cure my HIV with is herb spell, and i just went every body no that there is a cure for HIV that is why i am dropping his email address, (olufahomeofsolution@outlook.com) you can contact hem if you need is help to be cure.

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