Herpes is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes, which is also known as cold sores or fever blisters. HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes.
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are about 50 million people living with genital herpes in the United States. While the United States has a total resident population of 325 million, it means 15% of people in the U.S. have genital herpes. However, most people with HSV don’t know they have it because they don’t have symptoms. However, even if you have no symptoms with the virus, others can still be contracted it from you. So it’s very important to get yourself tested for herpes if you are sexually active. If you find out that you have herpes, it’s essential to get yourself educated about this disease.
HerpesAlliance.org strives to provide trusted and comprehensive information to educate people with herpes. If you are looking for information about herpes, you are in the right place.
Here we provide you with informative education resources related to symptoms, causes, treatment and so on.
Key Facts About Herpes
- Genital herpes is common and may be caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2
- 1 in 6 people worldwide have genital herpes caused by HSV-2
- About 80% of infections are not recognized because of mild or absent symptoms.
- Most first presentations of herpes represent reactivation of previously latent infection rather than recently acquired primary infection.
- Over 50% of people getting herpes get it from a partner who is unaware they have it.
- Genital herpes can be transmitted by genital or oral sex (cold sores).
- Anyone with genital herpes may shed virus a few days per year without symptoms.
- Transmission of herpes can occur within committed long term relationships and in people who have never had penetrative sex through close genital contact or oral genital contact.
- People who experience a first episode will get better. Lesions will heal and recurrences will usually be less severe.
- HSV-2 may reactivate more frequently than HSV-1
- Antiviral treatment can be very effective.
- Condoms reduce the risk of transmission but it is also advisable to avoid skin to skin contact when lesions are present.
- Genital herpes does not cause cervical cancer or affect your fertility.
- Neonatal herpes is serious but rare.
- Women with genital herpes can have a safe pregnancy and vaginal delivery. New infections in the first or third trimester need especially close medical follow-up.