101 Things You Should Know About Herpes

1. Genital herpes is caused by two forms of the herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 or HSV-2.

2. Most oral herpes are caused by HSV-1 and most genital herpes are caused by HSV-2.

3. Most people do not show signs or symptoms of HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.

4. At least 45 million people ages 12 and older, or 20% of US teens and adults, have had genital herpes.

5. Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (about one in four women) than in men (nearly one in eight).

6. Both herpes type 1 and type 2 can be transmitted by contact with the sores that the herpes viruses cause, but also between outbreaks (sometimes called OB) through the “sloughing” of skin that does not have sores.

7. Herpes transmission often occurs from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not even know they are infected with the virus.

8. HSV-1 genital OBs recur less frequently than genital outbreaks caused by HSV-2.

9. First symptoms of genital herpes can be quite intense. Later OBs are milder. Symptoms may include:

10. small area of ​​redness, sometimes with raised bumps or fluid-filled blisters;

11. Itching, burning, or tingling in the genital area;

12. Flu-like symptoms (headache, swollen glands, fever);

13. Pain when urinating and/or discharge.

14. The initial outbreak of herpes usually occurs within two weeks of transmission of the virus, and the sores usually heal within two to four weeks.

15. Sometimes a person does not realize the infection until years after acquiring it.

16. Do not squeeze OB blisters because that can cause the infection to spread.

17. Genital herpes infection can be more serious in people with suppressed immune systems due to other causes.

18. Genital herpes can cause psychological distress in people who know they are infected, particularly due to the associated social stigma.

19. Any area of ​​the groin can be affected by genital herpes.

20. Herpes is not the only infection that causes genital sores. Bacterial infections are also known to cause sores that resemble herpes sores. Therefore, it is best to get tested.

21. Genital herpes can cause life-threatening infections in babies.

22. Genital herpes can sometimes be diagnosed by visual inspection of the outbreak or by taking an actual sample from a sore.

23. The only sure way to avoid contracting herpes and other STDs is abstinence, or a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with someone who is not infected.

24. If you tell your partner about your herpes, you can discuss it instead of making excuses for why you don’t want to have sex.

25. Genital herpes caused by HSV-2 carries an 80-90% chance of OB.

26. Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 carries a 50% chance of OB.

27. Birth sores can occur in areas not covered by a latex condom, so condoms are not foolproof for protecting against genital herpes.

28. Even if a person does not have any symptoms, they can still infect their sexual partners.

29. You can’t get herpes from swimming pools, towels, or toilet seats.

30. The frequency and severity of herpes OBs vary between individuals.

31. The most common symptom of genital herpes is one or more sores or blisters that appear on the genitals, anus, buttocks.

32. Some things that are believed to trigger Obs are:



35. other diseases;

36. menstruation;

37. and exposure to extreme weather conditions.

38. OBs are most common in the first year after herpes infection.

39. Often signs such as tingling, itching, numbness or tenderness where the sores will appear occur a few days before an OB.

40. Genital herpes can be well controlled with medication, stress management, and healthy eating.

41. Genital herpes infections almost never cause long-term damage in healthy adults.

42. Research has shown that genital herpes does not cause cervical cancer or any other type of cancer.

43. With proper treatment and open communication, most people with herpes find that they can have normal, healthy, and pleasurable relationships.

44. The symptoms of the herpes virus can be similar to the symptoms of other diseases, so the best way to make sure you have it is to get tested.

45. For the immediate relief of an OB:

46. ​​You can take warm baths or keep ice packs on the sores for several minutes.

47. You can wear loose cotton clothing to avoid chafing.

48. Keep the area dry with baby powder or cornstarch.

49. You can take aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain and fever.

50. Women who contract herpes before becoming pregnant have a low risk of transmitting the virus to the baby.

51. The risk of childhood herpes is increased if the mother contracts herpes during the last trimester of pregnancy.

52. A diagnosis of genital herpes in a long-term monogamous relationship does not mean that a partner was unfaithful.

53. Herpes can be transmitted through oral sex.

54. There is no absolute cure for herpes infection at this time.

55. If you have genital herpes, avoid (or reduce) activities that can affect OBs, such as:

56. poor diet;

57. overexertion;

58. emotional or physical stress;

59. lack of sleep;

60. excess alcohol;

61. and surgical trauma.

62. Excessive friction during intercourse can trigger OB.

63. Genital herpes doesn’t mean your sex life is over.

64. Approximately 70% of cases of genital herpes result from asymptomatic excretion, when there are no signs or symptoms.

65. It has been reported that people who tell their partners about their diagnosis are rarely turned away.

66. Herpes has not been found to affect fertility or the ability to have children.

67. Research suggests that when someone has both HIV and HSV, the HIV virus can increase in genital secretions, increasing the risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners.

68. Cold sores and canker sores are not related, although people confuse them.

69. Cold sores are contagious.

70. Canker sores are not contagious.

71. Cold sores appear around the mouth and symptoms include:

72. small fluid-filled blisters or sores around the mouth, surrounded by red (inflamed) skin;

73. days before blistering, pain or tingling around the mouth area;

74. And, the discomfort and appearance of blisters usually last between 7 and 10 days.

75. Cold sores can sometimes be found on the nostrils, chin or fingers.

76. OB of oral herpes can occur from contact with someone who has an active lesion through activities such as sharing eating utensils, razors, and towels.

77. Cold sores usually heal without medication ( But, you may want to seek medical attention if:

78. the blisters do not go away in a week or two;

79. have a pre-existing health condition that has compromised your immune system;

80. the symptoms are severe;

81. you have frequent outbreaks;

82. or if eye irritation occurs.

83. Some people are at higher risk of cold sores and should be avoided, including:

84. children;

85. people with eczema;

86. or people with a weakened immune system due to cancer, AIDS or an organ transplant.

87. If herpes infects the eye, it can cause scarring of the cornea, one of the leading causes of blindness in the US.

88. Mothers-to-be should alert their doctor if she or her partner has genital herpes.

89. To protect yourself and your partner from getting oral herpes and from spreading it to other parts of the body:

90. Do not kiss or have contact with the skin of infected people during obstetrics;

91. Do not share items such as eating utensils, towels, lip balm;

92. during obstetrics, wash your hands carefully and regularly;

93. be careful when touching other parts of the body, especially the eyes and genitals (;

94. avoid stressful situations, such as colds or flu, lack of sleep or prolonged exposure to the sun without sunscreen;

95. and use sunscreen on lips and face before prolonged sun exposure, in winter and summer.

96. In some cases, the decision not to use condoms may be made in a relationship where both partners understand the risks of contracting genital herpes.

97. Due to society’s negative misconceptions about genital herpes, you should prepare yourself before you talk to others about it.

98. Talk about your genital herpes with a partner when you’re not “in the mood” for sex, when you feel safe, and when you can give the conversation your full attention.

99. Any place where you feel safe and comfortable is a good place to talk about herpes with your partner.

100. Talking about genital herpes can strengthen your relationship and bring you closer as a couple.

101. Some people find that seeking counseling helps them cope with their diagnosis.

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