Informative Articles and Independent, Unbiased Product Reports On Various Herpes Remedies

Herpes Myths and Facts

Herpes: Separating Fact from Fiction

There's a lot of innuendo flying about regarding herpes, also known as the "kissing disease." Here are some of the common rumors you might have heard about this sexually transmitted disease (STD): You can catch herpes from a toilet seat; you can't get herpes from oral sex; oral herpes and genital herpes are two different diseases; if you have herpes, you can't donate blood or have children; I had herpes, I'd know it.

So how many of these widespread claims are true? How do you separate the fact from the fiction? Well, one thing you can do is read up about STDs and about herpes in particular. To get you started, here are some of the truths about herpes.

Herpes Facts

To set the record straight, here is what we know to be true about herpes:

- Herpes is a contagious viral disease caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2)

- Oral herpes is the most common form of this virus, manifesting in symptoms such as cold sores and fever blisters

- Genital herpes is the second most common form of the virus

- More than 80% of people who have genital herpes don't know it and can unwittingly pass the virus onto other people the others!

- Some extreme forms of herpes affect the brain and can be deadly (i.e., encephalitis or meningitis)

- Herpes is contracted from fluid transfer from an infected person or from skin-skin contact with an active lesion

- You can't tell if you have herpes unless you get tested

- There is no known cure for herpes

Herpes Myths

Now that you know some of the facts about herpes, here are some of the many myths, fictions, and non-truths you might have heard about herpes symptoms, about how herpes is transmitted, treatments and cures for herpes, herpes and pregnancy, and more:

- Oral herpes cold sores occur only on the lips (Actually, herpes sores can occur inside the mouth, on the nose/nostrils, or on the cheek and chin)

- Few people carry the herpes virus, which is a sign of shame (Actually, a staggering 80% of all individuals carry the herpes virus and don't know they have it - that's 16 out of every 20 individuals! The stigma surrounding this very common virus should stop now)

- If I had herpes, I would know it (Actually, herpes can be present without symptoms or the symptoms can be so subtle you wouldn't recognize them. On the other hand, many people misidentify a common canker sore or cold sore as a sore caused by herpes. Similarly, many other STDs may not show signs of infection for years - hence the motto "no signs of infection, no worries" is false. The only way to know for sure if you have herpes is to be tested)

- You can't get herpes from oral sex (Actually, it is very possible for herpes and STDs to be transmitted via all types of sex - oral, anal, vaginal, and casual. Since HSV can make its way into your body via cuts or tears in the mouth, you are not safe just because you stuck to oral sex. For this reason, it is critical to practice safe sex by using a condom for all sexual activities)

- People who have herpes are promiscuous (Actually, having herpes is no indication of how many people you have or haven't had sex with. It only takes one unprotected exposure to contract genital herpes, which is one of the reasons herpes is so widespread)

- If you are diagnosed with herpes, you can't donate blood (Actually, according the Red Cross, since the herpes simplex virus is not a blood-based virus, it is perfectly safe to donate blood even if you have HSV, although it should be avoided during a current breakout)

- Women with herpes can't have kids (Actually, the HSV does not prevent men or women from having children and the likelihood of passing the disease to your children during conception is zero. However, pregnant women who know they have genital herpes should inform their doctor and will generally undergo a Cesarean section birth to reduce the likelihood of their baby coming into contact the virus in their vaginal canal)

Knowledge is Power

There are many, many more myths and misconceptions about the herpes virus and about STDs in general. In order to prevent the spreading herpes and other STDs, knowledge is power. Make sure you and your partner get tested regularly for STDs, practice safe sex, and learn all you can about STDs so that the myths get dispelled and so that the truth gets told.