Do you completely understand herpes? You might think you know a lot about it – or you may think you don’t need to know. But read on to find 7 facts everyone should know about herpes.
1. You might have herpes
This isn’t a joke. According to a research by WHO, about 67% people all over the world have a strain of herpes simplex (oral herpes). There are many people who have herpes but they don’t experience any symptoms. So you might already have it without being aware of it. If you are sexually active, it’s a good idea to get checked, just to be sure.
2. It’s okay – really
There are many people who deny herpes. And many people don’t want to get tested, fearing positive results. However, the reality is that it’s really okay to have herpes. It does not cause any physical damage. Yes, the outbreaks can be painful and really uncomfortable, but there are no side effects and there might be years on end that you don’t see a problem. And there are many people who don’t even know that they have this disease. So it’s really okay – it’s not a big deal.
3. There are other symptoms too
You might think that an outbreak is the only symptom of herpes but it’s not. While the symptoms are really tough to detect, there can be no symptoms at all. You might even get atypical symptoms, such as congestion, cough, a runny nose, itching, nerve pain, and muscle aches. If you’re a woman, you might also get a persistent thrush or a bacterial infection. While the common symptoms are pain and sores in the genital area, uncommon symptoms such as fever can go undetected.
4. You might never experience an outbreak
Herpes is often dormant and doesn’t get active in the body. If you get a blood test and it comes positive for antibodies for HSV 1 or 2 (HSV 1 causes oral herpes while HSV2 causes genital herpes), it means that you were exposed to the infection in the past. This is why your body has developed antibodies against HSV1 and 2 to fight the infection. However, the virus will stay in your nerves and won’t come out unless you get immunosuppressed. This means, that it will become active when the efficiency of your immune system will be reduced. You can be immunosuppressed during an illness or a stressful time.
5. Herpes can be passed without an outbreak
Herpes can be passed on with skin contact. It’s not passed through saliva or blood. So if you have the virus but aren’t having an outbreak, you could still infect someone. This could be really bad for your relationship if you are dating. It’s a good idea to discuss it with your partner before you get intimate. Just because you’re not having an outbreak does not mean it’s completely safe to get into sexual relations. It’s a sensitive issue so make sure you discuss it discreetly. Don’t be ashamed about it – it’s okay to have herpes. If you find it difficult to bring the topic up, it’s best to date someone who also has herpes.
6. Fewer outbreaks with time
The first herpes outbreak is generally the worst. This is true for most people. However, herpes acts according to your immune system. So your case might be different. While some people might get many outbreaks, some might not get any. Generally, when you have herpes over a long period of time, you’ll have fewer outbreaks.
7. Non-sexual activities
Herpes is contracted from a person who already has a strain of the virus. If you have a strain of HSV1, you could shed the virus through kissing. It doesn’t take sexual contact – you might even get the virus from your grandma’s kiss on Christmas. It can also happen by sharing a drink.
If you share sex toys or even sunbeds, you can catch herpes. If you’re scared, relax. There’s nothing to panic. There is a lot of antiviral medication available and the medical science has made a lot of progress, which means that you can deal with it easily. Herpes is not the end of the world. Get yourself tested. Online herpes dating site is a good choice for the people living with herpes. Good luck!