Many people have tons of questions about herpes. It is a common STD but still there are many misconceptions about the infection. Let’s take a look at 5 quick facts about herpes.

Herpes Is Caused By Two Viruses

HSV, or herpes simplex virus, is the STD that can cause genital herpes. There are two strains of HSV that can lead to genital herpes. They are known as herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that genital herpes is so common in the U.S. that about one in every six people aged 14 to 49 has the infection.

Herpes Is Caused By Skin-To-Skin Contact

Herpes is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. This means that herpes can be transmitted by engaging in vaginal, anal or oral sex with a partner who already has the infection. The fluid contained within a herpes sore carries the virus and coming into contact with those fluids can cause you to become infected. It is also possible to contract the virus from a partner who does not have a visible sore present because the virus can be released through the skin.
It is also possible to contract the virus from touching a herpes sore without sexual activity. Oral herpes, typically caused by HSV-1, can be transmitted through kissing a person who has a mouth sore. The CDC believes many people contract the virus this way before they reach sexual maturity.

There Is No Cure For Herpes

The CDC specifically state that there is no cure for herpes but there are many treatments in modern medicine that make the infection manageable. The CDC recommends that if you have herpes, you should tell any sexual partner you may have and let him/her know that you carry the infection and the risk involved. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.

Herpes Symptoms Are Not Always Present

Most people who have herpes are not even aware they have contracted the virus. This is because most people who have herpes show little or no symptoms at all. Symptoms can often be mistaken for another skin condition and go undiagnosed. So, what are the symptoms of genital herpes? Genital herpes sores can appear as one or more blisters around the genitals, anus or mouth. The blisters can break, leaving painful sores that may take several weeks to heal. This is often referred to as an outbreak. The first time someone has an outbreak they may also experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches or swelling in the glands. Repeat outbreaks can be common and usually last a shorter period of time than the original.

Since some STDs, such as herpes, are treatable and treatment can help to lessen outbreaks, it is best to learn the current status of your sexual health. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to trich or any other STD, you should have STD testing performed.