Learn About Genital Herpes - Your Guide To Manage Herpes In Your Life
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HERPES: What To Do If Your Potential Partner Has "The Talk" Withfrom: You
You’ve met this great guy. Things are going very well, in fact,
you think tonight’s date may be “the date”. Actually, your guy
thinks the same thing. He feels you’re special and wants to take
things to the next level.
Date night arrives. You spend a romantic evening together over
dinner and he offers to continue the evening over at his place.
Silently you think, “Yes! This is it!” But first, he says, he
would like to tell you something. He gently informs you that he
has genital herpes. Trying to remain calm, because you’ve only
“heard of” herpes, but know very little about it, you say, “oh”,
followed by dead silence.
Many people have often been in the situation described above.
You’ve heard of herpes, but you don’t really know what it is or
how concerned you should be. You ask yourself, “Do I need to be
worried?” “If we use a condom, will every thing be OK?” These
questions, and many others like them, are essential to ask.
What Is Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes is caused by HSV-2 and infects about 50 million
Americans over age 20. HSV-2 is a viral STD (sexually
transmitted disease). There are two types of herpes, HSV-1
(herpes simplex virus 1) and HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus 2). It
is possible to contract both varieties in the genital region,
although HSV-2 is the viral infection most commonly referred to
as “genital herpes”. HSV-1 is known is better known as a “cold
sore”. Because herpes is viral, this means that it never leaves
your body. Typically, first outbreaks are more painful and last
longer than subsequent outbreaks, which tend to be shorter in
duration and longer in length between outbreaks. But the
potential for a future outbreak remains constant.
How Do I Get Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes is primarily spread through sexual contact with
person who is experiencing an outbreak. However, through a
process called “viral shedding”, it is possible to contract the
virus through sexual contact, from someone who is not showing
any signs of an outbreak. Often times, when a person has an
active lesion (sore), it will not be painful and the carrier may
not know they are having an outbreak or even that they are
infected. Using a condom is not a “guarantee” against becoming
infected, although it does lower the transmission risk.
How Can I Tell If I Have Genital Herpes?
If you notice that you have a lesion in the genital area (either
painful or non-painful), you should see a doctor. The doctor
will lightly scrape the lesion for cells and have them tested at
a lab for the presence of the virus. This is surest method of
detection. Without the presence of a lesion, you can also take a
blood test designed to detect the virus, however, these tests
are not 100% accurate.
What Should I Do If Someone I’m Dating Tells Me They Have
This is a highly individual answer. You need to do several
things if you are informed by your potential partner that they
have genital herpes. First of all, thank them. Regardless of
your decision whether or not to continue the relationship, it
took a lot of courage to tell you up front. Chances are they’re
giving you a choice that they may not have been given
themselves. Second, get as informed as you can. Talk to your
doctor, do research online, or buy a book on the subject. You
need as many informational and medical resources as it takes to
make you feel confident that you are making an informed
decision. Lastly, be realistic. Your potential partner can take
viral suppressant medication and that can greatly reduce the
number of outbreak incidents, but they cannot ever guarantee you
100% safety from infection. If you feel the relationship has
long term, serious potential, then let that guide you as well.
This article is strictly informational and not intended to
prevent, diagnose or treat genital herpes.
About the author:
Lauren Danver is the owner of the href="http://www.herpesandshingles.info">Herpes and Shingles
Information Center, a website designed to provide the most
recent news and information about developments in the fields of
herpes and shingles research
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