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

1149 comments

WIILLIAMS J
WIILLIAMS J20 hours ago

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Susan L.
Susan L.23 hours ago

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Robert A.
Robert A.yesterday

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Robert A.
Robert A.yesterday

Hello everybody, I just want give this great testimony to the whole public about a great man who help me out in serious illness. I have HSV-1 AND HSV-2 DISEASE for good 2 years now and I was almost going to the end of my life due to the illness. All I have in my mind is, let me just give up because life is not interesting for me any longer and i also pray that God should accept my soul when ever I’m gone luckily for me, my kid sister run to me that she found a doctor in the INTERNET who can cure HSV-1 AND HSV-2 DISEASE. She helped me out in everything, the man asked for my details so he can prepare a herbal medicine for me. After he was done consulting on my details he told me how my medicine will be prepare, after he was done preparing my medicine he sent me my medication and after using it for 7 days i later started noticing something different in my blood so I went for my HSV-1 AND HSV-2 DISEASE test and I was tested Negative, I’m so happy that I can say I’m not patient of HSV-1 AND HSV-2 anymore. If you have HSV-1 AND HSV-2 or any sickness,HIV/AID,HPV,CANCER,HEPATITS B DIABETITS ALS,PENIS ENLARGEMNT please for your safety, contact DR.SABU VIA his email address:drsabuspelltemple@gmail.com or his Mobile whatsapp number+254729840796 or his websites: https://drsabuspelltemple.wixsite.com/dr-sabu

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Thereasa M.
Thereasa M.2 days ago

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FORGET YOU IN OUR LIVES

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Osaro E.
Osaro E.2 days ago

MUST READ: HOW I GOT CURED FROM MY HERPES VIRUS)

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Sarah Deanfneil
Sarah Deanfneil4 days ago

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Lucas D.
Lucas D.4 days ago

HOW I GOT CURED OF HERPES IN 7 DAYS BY DOCTOR MUSTAFA BUBA GREETINGS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, I’M JENNIFER SANCHEZ I WANT TO INFORM THE PUBLIC HOW I WAS CURED OF HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS BY DR MUSTAFA BUBA. 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 DR MUSTAFA BUBA 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 …(mustafaherbalsolutioncenter@gmail.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 HERB 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 MUSTAFA BUBA 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..: (mustafaherbalsolutioncenter@gmail.com)..... OR YOU CAN KINDLY CONTACT HIM ON WHATSAPP CHAT/CALL +234803

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Esther J.
Esther J.5 days ago

Hi friends!
I am Erica Thompson by name and i want to use this great opportunity to share with you some great and amazing testimony of how i was cured from HERPES Virus with the help of Dr ONOMEN Herbal Medicine.
Over 2 years now i have been suffering and living in pain with this deadly virus Herpes, fear grew in my mind everyday as i heard there is no cure for it, but to me i knew that medical drugs was not the only option in treating viruses and infection, my greatest problem was that i was stocked in pain as the symptoms has circulated over my body.
Few Months ago i decided to get more information online concerning herpes,and while i was surfing the web, i came across some great testimonials from various people on how Dr ONOMEN has been using his herbal medicine to cure different disease, at first i was shocked as i have never heard of such thing before, and also i doubted if it was true as it never came up on media, these people gave out the email address of Dr ONOMEN and advised we contact him for any problem, though i was doubting him i decided to put a test on it, moreover it was the fist time for me to hear something like that, i copied the email address of Dr Molemen and i sent him a message about my health status and i also requested for his medicine in order for me to get good health, he gave me a responded after some hours and he told me the procedure involved in order for me to get his medicine, he also said to me he was going to send me some herbal liquid med

SEND
Esther J.
Esther J.5 days ago

Hi friends!
I am Erica Thompson by name and i want to use this great opportunity to share with you some great and amazing testimony of how i was cured from HERPES Virus with the help of Dr ONOMEN Herbal Medicine.
Over 2 years now i have been suffering and living in pain with this deadly virus Herpes, fear grew in my mind everyday as i heard there is no cure for it, but to me i knew that medical drugs was not the only option in treating viruses and infection, my greatest problem was that i was stocked in pain as the symptoms has circulated over my body.
Few Months ago i decided to get more information online concerning herpes,and while i was surfing the web, i came across some great testimonials from various people on how Dr ONOMEN has been using his herbal medicine to cure different disease, at first i was shocked as i have never heard of such thing before, and also i doubted if it was true as it never came up on media, these people gave out the email address of Dr ONOMEN and advised we contact him for any problem, though i was doubting him i decided to put a test on it, moreover it was the fist time for me to hear something like that, i copied the email address of Dr Molemen and i sent him a message about my health status and i also requested for his medicine in order for me to get good health, he gave me a responded after some hours and he told me the procedure involved in order for me to get his medicine, he also said to me he was going to send

SEND