Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners.
Oral herpes is usually caused by HSV-1 and can result in cold sores or fever blisters on or around the mouth. However, most people do not have any symptoms. Most people with oral herpes were infected during childhood or young adulthood from non-sexual contact with saliva.
How does the herpes virus spread (causes)
You can get genital herpes by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease.
If you do not have herpes, you can get infected if you come into contact with the herpes virus in:
Saliva (if your partner has an oral herpes infection) or genital secretions (if your partner has a genital herpes infection);
Skin in the oral area if your partner has an oral herpes infection, or skin in the genital area if your partner has a genital herpes infection.
You can get herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or who may not know he or she is infected. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a sex partner who has oral herpes.
You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools, or from touching objects around you such as silverware, soap, or towels. If you have additional questions about how herpes is spread, consider discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider.
Most people who have genital herpes have no symptoms, or have very mild symptoms. You may not notice mild symptoms or you may mistake them for another skin condition, such as a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people who have herpes do not know it. Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. These symptoms are sometimes called “having an outbreak.” The first time someone has an outbreak they may also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, or swollen glands.
How do I know If I Have herpes!! (Diagnosis)
CAN Herpes be treated and tested for ??
Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore(s) and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies.
There is no cure for herpes. However, there are medicines that can prevent or shorten outbreaks. One of these anti-herpes medicines can be taken daily, and makes it less likely that you will pass the infection on to your sex partner(s).
How can I prevent Herpes infection??
The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD (e.g., a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results);
Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Your partner takes an anti-herpes medication every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her doctor.
You avoid having vaginal, anal, or oral sex when your partner has herpes symptoms (i.e., when your partner is having an outbreak).
Herpes statistics and facts
About one out of six people in the United States has genital herpes.
That’s about 55 million people in the United States who have genital herpes.
87-90% of people with genital herpes don’t know they have it.
That’s more than 48 million Americans who are unaware they have genital herpes.
Genital herpes is the second most prevalent viral STD after HPV.
Planned Parenthood states that 1 in 6 Americans has genital herpes. (1) According to the American Sexual Health Organization, close to 90% of Americans don’t know they have genital herpes. (2) And according to the CDC, the statistic of infected people who don’t know is 87.4%. (3)