Oral herpes and genital herpes can be spread sexually. Approximately one in five adults has genital herpes. Up to 90 percent of persons infected are UNAWARE that they have herpes!
Many who have herpes have no symptoms. Symptoms can vary from a mildly irritating and/or itchy area to painful blisters.
Always insist that you and any new partner screen for STDs or STIs prior to having sex. Cultures of material taken from herpes sores have a small window of time in which they will be accurate for herpes. Blood tests should be done three to four months after a suspected exposure to herpes.
The number of outbreaks a person may have is variable. You can shed the herpes virus even when you don't have symptoms.
If you are sexually active, you should use a suppressive therapy prescribed by your medical provider. Over the counter medications do not protect your partner.
Special precautions need to be taken during pregnancy. Always inform any new dating partner before you have sex that you have herpes.
Hopefully, in one year, there will be a generic once a day dose for suppression. A vaccine is being tested. It will not protect persons already infected.
The points listed above are discussed in detail in prior post entries I have made. Please read those entries for more detailed information or go to the resources I listed in the entry entitled "Talking to Your Partner About Herpes".
Terri Warren, a nurse practitioner from Portland, Oregon, and Zane Brown, a physician from Seattle, Washington, are both doing excellent research on the topic of herpes. These are authors that you can trust.
Take good care of yourself and the people you care about! Once again, strive to be your best self: A fair, honest, and loving person, who happens to have herpes.