Myths and Misconceptions about Herpes
Genital herpes is a viral infection that causes small, painful blisters that can break open and turn into sores/blisters. There are two different types of herpes. Herpes simplex type 1 is transmitted through oral secretions or open sores on the skin, it can be spread through kissing. With herpes type 2, a person, generally, can be infected during unprotected sexual contact – through oral, anal and vaginal.
I’m sure there are a few misconceptions you’ve heard about herpes and the different ways people can get infected, but it’s important to get the right information to not only protect yourself but others too. Let’s demystify herpes myths and misconceptions.
Myth 1: A herpes infection means you are promiscuous
Fact: It only takes one time to get a herpes infection. Even if you’ve had only one sexual partner in your life, you can still get infected by herpes. The truth of the matter is anytime you engage in unsafe sex with anyone, your chances of being infected with herpes are higher than if you would have protected sex. Being infected by herpes doesn’t say anything about a person’s promiscuity. Always use a condom when engaging in sex choma.
Myth 2: Cold sores are not associated with herpes
Fact: Choma, if you’ve had oral-genital sex with someone without using a condom and they have had a cold sore, you are more than likely to be infected with genital herpes, especially if there was an outbreak. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1.
Myth 3: It can be passed on through objects
Fact: Herpes is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact from an infected person, not through clean cutlery, towels or crockery. When it comes to sex toys, always ensure that they are properly cleaned before you share them.
Myth 4: People infected by herpes cannot donate blood
Fact: Herpes is not present in the blood, therefore there should be no issues with you giving blood, even if you have genital or oral herpes. As long as you keep taking treatment and are healthy with no other restricted infections, you should be OK with donating blood.
Myth 5: You’ll know if you are infected with herpes
Fact: Symptoms may not always appear or they can be subtle. Just like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the best way to know if you have herpes is if you get tested. Once you know your status, you can get appropriate treatment and prevent spreading it.
Myth 6: It’s shameful to be infected
Fact: Anyone can get herpes, whether you’ve already had sex or haven’t planned on having sex yet. Being infected with herpes has nothing to do with being good or bad or being clean or dirty - it’s about having unprotected sex, whether orally, anally or vaginally.
Choma, use this as a handy piece of article to pass on to a friend. Have you heard of any other misconceptions about herpes? Share in the comments below.
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