Informative Articles and Independent, Unbiased Product Reports On Various Herpes Remedies

The Social Stigma of Herpes

Most people would be quite surprised to find out that an estimated one out of five Americans who are older than age 12 harbor the herpes virus in their body. This virus can cause painful outbreaks in places we don't generally talk about in polite company since herpes is a delicate, to say the least, subject. For the majority of people, the symptoms of herpes are either so mild, or completely nonexistent, that it can be near impossible to notice the infection. Unfortunately, herpes has the kind of social stigma attached to it that even HIV doesn't hold, which is why you will rarely hear people speaking openly about the disease. Because herpes is potentially contagious, even before or after any noticeable outbreak, it is necessary for you to discuss this touchy subject with any potential sexual partner.

Honesty is Essential

Although being honest about your herpes infection

can occasionally send a romantic partner running for the hills, there really is no other option. Out of 200 people who were infected with herpes, those who honestly discussed their infection kept their partner free of the disease for at least nine months on average, as compared to the less than two months when it remained secret. One reason for the major push for increased honesty regarding the herpes virus lies in the fact that some researchers suspect herpes is adding to the spread of HIV and AIDS. The herpes simplex virus, which is responsible for most outbreaks of genital herpes, suppresses the immune system, leading to higher levels of HIV in the blood which in turn raises the chances of transmitting both infections. Unfortunately, only about half of those who are fully aware of their herpes diagnosis relay this critical fact to their regular sex partners. When we're talking about casual hookups, the disclosure rate plummets even more, to only 20%.

Preventing the Spread of Herpes

When partners are fully aware of the herpes infection they tend to behave differently; they use condoms on a regular basis, and hold off on sex during herpes flare-ups. Because the herpes virus can be spread through skin-to-skin contact as well, couples will avoid this type of contact around the genital area, thus reducing their risk of transmitting the disease; herpes virus "sheds" on areas condoms do not protect, whether or not symptoms are visible at the time. Most researchers now believe that the herpes virus is the most contagious during the first few hours of a flare-up, however there is no definitive way to predict when an outbreak will occur.

Taboo Topic

In a recent poll, genital herpes was ranked second in terms of social stigma, out of a list of possible subjects which included HIV, gonorrhea, mental illness, substance abuse and cancer-HIV took the top spot. Most of the people surveyed who did not presently have genital herpes stated they would avoid having a relationship with someone who did have the disease, and would break up with a partner who was infected. Nearly fifty percent of those who carried the herpes virus stated they merely avoided having sex during an outbreak rather than tell their partner the truth. Genital herpes is a very common infection, and though it can be uncomfortable, it is rarely more than just that, however the social stigma which accompanies the diagnosis of herpes is significantly out of proportion to the actual disease. Though it makes little sense, those who become infected with genital herpes are often seen as showing a lack of judgment and an indifference to the health of others. Hopefully, with time and education, the current stigma surrounding herpes will lessen, however it is still essential that any potential sexual partners be fully informed of the disease.