6 Essential Things to Know About Herpes

The words Herpes the gift that keeps on giving in white lettering in the center of a yellow orange background of Herpes virus. This is the blog graphic for blog post 6 essential things you need to know about herpes for awomansoutlook.com.
Image is not of actual Herpes virus

This post will talk about the most important points about Herpes. To learn more about this disease, click on the blue links within this post. They will take you to more detailed information. .

Herpes is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD); which has been around for hundreds of years. Here are 6 essential things to know about Herpes.

1. What is Herpes?

Herpes is a common STD. According to John Hopkins Medicine (an organization combining John Hopkins University and the John Hopkins Health System Corporation), 50-80% of Americans have oral herpes, and about 1 of every 6 Americans have genital herpes. Yeah, it’s that common!

Once you have the virus, there may be times when you are more infectious to other people. During these times, blisters may appear along with flu-like symptoms.

After the blisters break, the Herpes sores appear. This is referred to as an “outbreak”. 

The first one is usually the worst. After that, the following outbreaks are usually shorter and milder. Since Herpes comes and goes, it has the nickname ‘The Gift That Keeps On Giving‘.

Unfortunately, once you get the Herpes virus, you’ve got it for life. There are treatments for outbreaks, but no cure to get rid of it.

2. The types of Herpes and what they are

There are two types of Herpes virus. The first type is Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1), also known as Oral Herpes. Most folks get this virus when they are children or in their teen years.

With this type, cold sores (called Herpes Sores) appear on your lips and/or around your mouth. The virus is transmitted through saliva and the fluid from the Herpes sores. If you engage in oral sex, you can spread Herpes to someone’s genitals!

Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (HSV-2) is referred to as Genital Herpes. Having sex, touching Herpes sores, or even the skin of an infected person, increases your risk of being infected.

Be aware, because sores can hide within skin folds or on the underside of the penis. 

Doctor is looking through a magnifer to look at a patient's skin. Blog graphic for blog post for awomansoutlook.com

3. Symptoms of Herpes

Not all infected people have symptoms.  So even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass the infection to other people. Here are some of the common symptoms:

-Pain or itching around the genitals

-Painful urination

-Discharge from the penis and vagina 

-Small bumps or blisters around the genitals, anus, or mouth

-Scabs from burst blisters

Symptoms can show up within 2-12 days after being infected. If you have any of these symptoms, get checked out by a medical professional.

4. What do you do if you’re pregnant and have Herpes? 

If you are pregnant and have Herpes, let your doctor know immediately! The virus can be passed to the baby during a vaginal birth. That risk increases if you have an outbreak at the time of delivery.

5. Treatment for Herpes

There are some medicines that will shorten outbreaks and reduce the risk of spreading Herpes to others.

Aerial view above 4 medical professionals who recreate a square. The background is a tile floor. Blog grpahic for blog post for awomansoutlook.com

6. Ways to prevent Herpes

There are three ways to reduce the chances of getting Genital Herpes. 

1) Be in a long-term monogamous relationship.

2) Use condoms correctly every time you have sex. Remember sores can be in places a condom can’t cover, so there’s a risk of being infected.

3) Practice abstinence or not having sex.

The takeaway

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease made up of two types of viruses. Herpes Simplex 1 is transmitted through saliva and contact with the Herpes sores. The other one, Herpes Simplex 2, is passed during sexual contact. 

There is no cure and sometimes no symptoms. To lower your risk of getting herpes, practice careful prevention steps like: being in a committed relationship, using condoms correctly, and/or practicing abstinence.

Please keep these 6 essential things to know about Herpes in mind.

Just saying! 

If you have any tips or comments, feel free to share them down in the comments section. Your feedback is invaluable! Thank you for reading.

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