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

931 comments

 .
.2 days ago

hello everybody,
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Tracy J.
Tracy J.2 days ago

A friend has Herpes which i knew how it felt because i had Rheumatiod arthritis and we both meant at the cancelling center to meet each of our doctors but i was cured of Rheumatiod arthritis using herbal remedy which i got from Dr Fred who i read about on the internet and i did told my friend about it and she wrote to him through his whatsapp letting out all her experiences with Herpes.Dr Fred gave her herbal remedy for it which she received through the deliver service likewise me.we are both cured for 12 months with no sign of it in her system and mine. just write to Dr Fred via email: infodrfredherbalcuringcenter@gmail.com , drfredherbalcuringcenter@yahoo.com , website: drfredherbalcenter.webs.com , whatsapp: +2348139097317 .

Tracy J.
Tracy J.2 days ago

A friend has Herpes which i knew how it felt because i had Rheumatiod arthritis and we both meant at the cancelling center to meet each of our doctors but i was cured of Rheumatiod arthritis using herbal remedy which i got from Dr Fred who i read about on the internet and i did told my friend about it and she wrote to him through his whatsapp letting out all her experiences with Herpes.Dr Fred gave her herbal remedy for it which she received through the deliver service likewise me.we are both cured for 12 months with no sign of it in her system and mine. just write to Dr Fred via email: infodrfredherbalcuringcenter@gmail.com , drfredherbalcuringcenter@yahoo.com , website: drfredherbalcenter.webs.com , whatsapp: +2348139097317

Tom K.
Tom K.3 days ago

i am tom kingsley i am so happy to share this testimony on how Dr ohikhobo,
was able to heal me from Herpes Disease, well i was detected positive on
21st September 2015, and ever since i have been looking for a way to treat and
cure this disease from me, but always i try ther was no solution,few weeks ago my aunt rosa introduce me to doctor ohikhobo telling him all my problem he told me what we were to do, that he was going to send me a portion which i am going to take, and after seeing testimony of some people on how Dr ohikhobo was able to cure people from Herpes disease, i also heard about it on media when a
young lady also gave her testimony about this same Dr ohikhobo, well left with no
hope i message him and he sent me an herb portion that i will be taken., he told me to go back to the hospital for check up and after i have done that i should
come and tell him the good news result, at first when i saw the message i
was so shock and still did not believed i will be cured, well friend to
make my story short i am now free from herpes after many time of sorrow, i thank God for leading me to this
man….you can email him on drohikhoboherbalcenter@gmail.com or you can also
call him +2349053294137,or wattssap him via +2348103601042 he can be of help to you on any problem like
{1} HIV/AIDS
{2CANCER
{3}HERPES
{4}DIABETES
(5}HERPERTITIS B
(6}HPV

Tom K.
Tom K.3 days ago

i am tom kingsley i am so happy to share this testimony on how Dr ohikhobo,
was able to heal me from Herpes Disease, well i was detected positive on
21st September 2015, and ever since i have been looking for a way to treat and
cure this disease from me, but always i try ther was no solution,few weeks ago my aunt rosa introduce me to doctor ohikhobo telling him all my problem he told me what we were to do, that he was going to send me a portion which i am going to take, and after seeing testimony of some people on how Dr ohikhobo was able to cure people from Herpes disease, i also heard about it on media when a
young lady also gave her testimony about this same Dr ohikhobo, well left with no
hope i message him and he sent me an herb portion that i will be taken., he told me to go back to the hospital for check up and after i have done that i should
come and tell him the good news result, at first when i saw the message i
was so shock and still did not believed i will be cured, well friend to
make my story short i am now free from herpes after many time of sorrow, i thank God for leading me to this
man….you can email him on drohikhoboherbalcenter@gmail.com or you can also
call him +2349053294137,or wattssap him via +2348103601042 he can be of help to you on any problem like
{1} HIV/AIDS
{2CANCER
{3}HERPES
{4}DIABETES
(5}HERPERTITIS B
(6}HPV

Jasmine D.
Jasmine D.5 days ago

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Gary N.
Gary N.5 days ago

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Ashley C.
Ashley C.5 days ago

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Eddy E.
Eddy E.6 days ago

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