Herpes is actually one of the most common among the STDs. In an estimate, about 2/3 of the population of those under 50 years old have this condition. Nonetheless, it still remains to be a bit of a taboo subject. Not only that there are also a lot of herpes myths and misconceptions. If you want to learn more about it, feel free to give this article a read.
What is Herpes?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Herpes?
- 2 What Causes Herpes?
- 3 Symptoms of Herpes
- 4 Herpes Myths and Misconceptions
Herpes is one of the most common type of sexually transmitted diseases. This doesn’t just affect thousands and thousands of people in the United States, but also all over the world. This particular STD is actually caused by the HSV or the herpes simplex virus. Moreover, most of the cases of genital herpes are due to the infection –herpes simplex virus type 2 or HSV 2.
On the other hand, the simplex virus type 1 or HSV 1 is more frequently the cause of fever blisters and cold sores. However, it may also be one of the causes of genital herpes. Most of the people who have genital herpes do not actually know that they have it. That is mainly because in most people, it produces either very mild symptoms to no symptoms at all.
What Causes Herpes?
As what we said earlier, there are two types of herpes simplex virus that cause genital herpes, the HSV 1 and HSV 2. The HSV 1 commonly causes the onset of cold sores, while the HSV 2 commonly causes genital herpes.
The viruses goes into the body over the mucous membranes. The thin layers of the tissue, which line the openings of the body are the mucous membranes. These are present in the genitals, mouth, and nose.
Once the viruses are already inside the body, they tend to incorporate themselves into the cells and stay in the pelvis’ nerve cells. Furthermore, viruses tend to adapt or multiply to the environments so easily. This is what actually makes the treatment of genital herpes very hard.
Symptoms of Herpes
The general symptoms for females or males include:
- You may experience headaches, fever, and body aches
- The lymph glands may become swollen. The lymph glands fight the infection and the inflammation inside the body
- A crust may be visible over the sores within one week after the outbreak
- The blisters may become open source and ooze some kind of fluid
- The infected site frequently start to become itchy, or tingle, before the real appearance of the blisters
- Blisters may appear in the mouth and on the lips, face, and anywhere else, which came in contact with the areas infected
Herpes Myths and Misconceptions
Here are some of the herpes myths and misconceptions:
Myth 1: Herpes is treatable.
Unfortunately, if you have the herpes virus then you have it for life. However, things can be done to manage the symptoms. For example, it has been proven that stress can lead to an outbreak of herpes, so try and stay relax. Antiviral medications do exist to help out when you are having an outbreak and to help speed the healing of sores. However, the infection will stay with you forever.
Myth 2: Herpes is not a common condition.
There is a general conception the herpes is one of the more uncommon types of STD, yet this is very much not the case. As mentioned earlier, around 70% of us are infected with some strain of the herpes virus.
Myth 3: Cold sores are only genital herpes on the face.
People get confused as to whether cold sores actually are a type of herpes; they are, but it is a different strain to genital herpes. Even though cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1, if you have oral sex with someone who has a cold sore it can actually give you genital herpes. The likelihood of passing it on is very high during a primary outbreak.If you do have receive oral sex from someone who has a cold sore, washing with soap and water after can help decrease the risk of transmission.
Myth 4: When you sleep with someone who has herpes, you will get it too.
A lot of people think that if you sleep with someone with herpes you will then definitely have herpes – this just isn’t the case. The infection is mainly passed on if the person who is infected is having an outbreak at the time of intercourse. If you avoid sleeping with someone while you have an outbreak, the chance of passing it on to that person is reduced. Wearing a condom while someone is having an outbreak also won’t 100% protect you from contracting the infection, so it’s best just to avoid sex for a few weeks.
Myth 5: You need to feel anxious about having herpes.
People get embarrassed if they have any sort of sexually transmitted disease, which is unfair. It only takes sleeping with one person who has an infection. Doctors have seen it all and we are not there to judge. Coming in to get medication to help with outbreak symptoms is the correct move and no qualified doctor will be judging you.
There you go, you now know the different herpes myths and misconceptions that you need to not mind about!