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The truth about herpes

Posted in Sexual Health 22 Mar, 2011

Whatever you have heard about herpes, take some time to look at the facts about the virus. As the Herpes Virus Association website says: “web sites may exaggerate the worst cases and seek to make you believe herpes is a big deal. Don't be fooled. It's as big a deal as you want to make it.”

The truth is that:

  • Most people have some form of herpes: 70% have facial herpes (cold sores) and 10% have genital herpes.
  • Three quarters of people don’t know they have it.
  • Herpes is rarely of medical importance. However, when an outbreak of herpes is present, it may increase the risk that you will develop other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Good treatments are available for people who develop genital herpes. Valtrex is one of the most popular.
  • Wearing a condom won’t always prevent herpes being passed on – particularly if an outbreak is present outside the area covered by the condom.

Ultimately, genital herpes does not have to be a problem that you spend your whole life worrying about. According to the HVA, professor George Kinghorn, a consultant in Sheffield, said: “To be infected with a herpes simplex virus is a state of normality. We tend to make this into a big deal”

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