Shocking truth about the dreaded STI
You read that title right – and it’s no clickbait. You probably have herpes and you just don’t know about it.
Herpes, the dreaded sexually-transmitted disease – easily distinguishable by cold sores in the mouth and painful blisters in the genitals. By now, you probably already know that there is no known cure for herpes, and you can get it as easily as having sex. Scary, right?
Not so much.
As it turns out, herpes is actually more widespread than you think. Majority of cases involving herpes infections are due to the obvious symptoms of herpes, but a big chunk of the world population may already have herpes and just don’t know it.
What is herpes?
Herpes actually belongs to a family of eight different viruses known as Herpesviridae. It is what scientists consider as DNA virus, which essentially means that its genetic material is made of DNA just like humans and it replicates through RNA in a cell’s nucleus. If there’s anything that viruses do great is that it develops resiliency over time, and that it can reproduce quite efficiently.
Herpes is caused by an infection caused by a virus called HSV or Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV. There are two major types to HSV, which is classified as HSV-1 and HSV-2. The main difference is that HSV-1 typically causes cold sores and blisters on the mouth area. However, HSV-1 can be easily spread to the genitals or anus through oral or anal sex.
Who gets HSV?
Most people get infected with HSV-1 as infants or children. The HSV-1 virus can be easily spread by skin contact with an adult that carries the virus. If you’ve ever had itchy red spots when you were a kid, chances are, you are already infected with HSV-1. For the majority who did not encounter any of these problems as a kid, there’s a big possibility that the virus is dormant.
HSV-2 is transmitted through sexual activity – the popular one that we know. Once you get infected with herpes, the virus no longer leaves your system, but it can remain dormant for a long time until it decides to wreck your system once more.
Since any of us could have herpes, it would be important to be aware of your trigger factors that can bring your dormant herpes infection to light. Some things that can trigger the virus are:
- Menstrual periods
In addition, a weak immune system can make you greatly at-risk for developing herpes. The best modern medicine developed for herpes could only suppress herpes and restrain the activities of the virus.
If you suspect that you have herpes, don’t fret much. You probably have the same disease that is plaguing half of the world’s population and they just simply don’t know it. However, it’s important to practice safe sex in order to prevent acquiring the more-aggressive HSV-2 virus, which could lead to costly medical dues and subsequent embarrassment.