Herpes is a condition which, though not life-threatening, causes people a great deal of emotional distress and discomfort. Genital herpes strains can cause people to feel incredibly self conscious, plus the conditions can put a strain on people’s relationships and sex lives as well. Whilst there are preventative measures which can be taken, herpes and genital herpes are still incredibly common, and what’s more, making a diagnosis isn’t always as simple as you may have thought. Characterized primarily by the outbreak of cold sores, sores, and blisters in general, in order to help protect ourselves against the condition, we must first understand the condition. Here’s a look at a few surprising things you should know about herpes.
Herpes is extremely common – First and foremost, one of the main things you need to know about herpes and genital herpes is the fact that it is extremely common. In actual fact, around 66% of the entire human population has, or will have, herpes at some point in their lives. To put that into perspective, that’s more than 3.7 billion people all over the globe.
Of all herpes infections, more than half are genital herpes – Out of the 3.7 billion people currently dealing with herpes worldwide, studies estimate that around 1.4 billion of these cases are actually genital herpes. What’s more, the age range for genital herpes is on average between 15 and 49, affecting both males and females alike.
Most people don’t know they have herpes – You would think that people infected with herpes would have cold sores on their faces, or sores and blisters on and around their genitals when in reality this is not the case at all. You see, despite so many people having herpes, the vast majority of these people actually have no idea that they have the disease at all. This is because the virus can lay dormant in a person’s system for years, decades even, and can provide no signs or symptoms at all. Some people may randomly begin displaying signs and symptoms of herpes infection years down the line, whereas others may never experience any signs or symptoms at all.
Herpes can be passed on without an outbreak – If you have genital herpes, even if you are not having an outbreak, and are therefore not experiencing any blisters, sores, or rashes on and around your genitals, you can still potentially infect somebody else. When it comes to genital herpes, you must not take any chances and if you know that you’re affected, you must always take the necessary safety precautions.
Genital herpes is very contagious – A lot of people suffering from genital herpes will abstain from intercourse, or will wear protection, and will instead engage in other sexual activities. However, genital herpes is very contagious and it can therefore be passed on in more ways than just those surrounding sexual intercourse. For example, oral sex can also lead to a herpes infection, plus it can be passed on via the use of sex toys, and more besides.