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What is Herpes

Herpes is a disease that affects millions of Americans every day. In fact one in five people have genital herpes and eight in ten have oral herpes or those cold sores you get on your lips every few months. That’s right it’s basically the same thing.

Genital herpes is caused by a strain of the herpes simplex virus called HSV-2. Its symptoms vary from either really noticeable blister on and around the genitals to redness like a rash to nothing at all. People often don’t know they have genital herpes because the symptoms are so mild or non-existent.

Oral herpes is caused by a strain of the herpes simplex virus called HSV-1. Its symptoms can also be non-existent. In fact 80% of the population has the disease but many don’t’ know it and are carriers without symptoms. The people that do get symptoms often show redness or blisters on their lips and inside their mouths and report a tingling and burning sensation before the symptoms show themselves.

Genital herpes is a lot more prominent in the population then most people think because people don’t realize how easy it is to catch and transmit. Whether you’re showing symptoms or not it is possible to spread the disease to a partner or vice-verse. Also, unlike other STDs such as Chlamydia, it can be transmitted with the use of a condom because it can be transmitted through skin to skin contact rather than by being transmitted through fluids. This creates an easily transmittable disease that is not curable to spread quickly through communities.

There is no cure or vaccine for either HSV-1 or HSV-2 there for if you become infected you have it for life and must limit your partners and always tell a new partner about your disease. There is hope though, new anti-viral medication can slow down the virus, make outbreaks far and few, and make them much less painful. While they don’t cure Herpes it sure does help.

Herpes has been around for a very long time and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. In fact herpes as with many sexually transmitted diseases has been rising every year and with people’s behavior there doesn’t seem that there is much we can do other then educate.

The only real way to be safe from the disease is to practice safe sex, no sex, and staying with one partner and both being faithful. I can’t tell you how many people say. That won’t happen to me and then I see them in my office wondering what happened and how their lives have changed forever.

About Author
Jennifer Anderson has worked with Herpes for years trying to help curb the spread of the disease.

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