Let's Talk About Safe Sex


By: RSC Editorial Team

August 2, 2021

Why The STD Herpes Isn’t As Bad As You Think?

Herpes is still seen as a terrible thing to catch. This article explains why it's not the disaster scenario that most people assume.

Medicine has evolved rapidly over the last few years. In the past, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV were considered to be death sentences. Today, HIV can be managed over an average life expectancy with the right treatment in place. Despite this, there is still a stigma attached to STDs such as herpes simplex. There are a few reasons why this is the case.

Indeed, the negative views surrounding herpes date back to the 1980s. During this time, drug companies started to portray herpes as something terrible so that they were able to effectively sell treatments to an anxious audience. To understand why herpes isn't as bad as you might think, it's important to look at the symptoms.

STD Herpes Symptoms

You might think that herpes is going to cause terrible symptoms. However, this isn't the case. The most common symptom is a burning or itchy sensation that you will be familiar with if you were recently diagnosed with herpes. After this, you might notice a small lesion. If you visit a doctor, then they might diagnose this as genital herpes.

You might notice more lesions start to develop around your genitals and these can be a little uncomfortable. However, they will pass after a couple of weeks or sooner than this if you use prescribed treatment. While herpes can not be cured, the condition remains invisible unless you are having an outbreak. There are many herpes misconceptions that we're going to discuss but unless you are in the middle of an outbreak no one will be able to tell that you have this condition. As well as, there can be extended periods between outbreaks. You could have a gap of a few years. It's also important to recognize that the first outbreak is often the most severe and it gets better from there.

Herpes Misconceptions

There are many myths about STDs but herpes gets its fair share. For instance, people often assume that only promiscuous people get herpes. This isn't true though and you can catch herpes even if you only have had a couple of different sexual partners. Herpes is incredibly common. Indeed, recent reports suggest that 1 in 6 people between 14 and 49 have genital herpes. However, it's important to note that the majority of these individuals likely haven't received a diagnosis. That's because most people don't see any symptoms and those that do might mistake it for a spout of genital acne or thrush.

When exploring herpes and safe sex, people often assume that you can prevent catching it by using condoms. While condoms reduce the chance of developing herpes, it doesn't remove the risk entirely. The reason for this is that a condom won't cover all the areas where the infection might be.

Another big myth surrounding the STD herpes is that it can't be treated. Again, this is not true. Herpes can be treated and managed with antiviral tablets to ensure that it doesn't multiply and guarantee that outbreaks are significantly shorter than you might expect. This will also reduce the chance of you transmitting herpes to your partner.

Are There Any Serious Consequences Of Genital Herpes?

Some people believe that genital herpes is associated with cervical cancer but this is not the case. Instead, genital herpes is confused with the human papillomavirus. HPV has been linked to cervical cancer and also causes lesions. This sexually transmitted disease is one of the reasons why women should get screened regularly to test for early signs of cervical cancer.

Do STD Tests Detect Genital Herpes?

You might think that a full STI test will pick up genital herpes. However, this is not the case. A full test will not typically check for the STD herpes and this is another clear sign that it's just not as serious as some people think. If you have been recently diagnosed with herpes, it will have been after you recognized symptoms and visit a doctor. Even then there are lots of issues that are commonly mistaken for herpes including spots caused by a sweat rash.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't book an STD test if you suspect genital herpes. You certainly should because you could have the signs of another STD such as HPV. There are solutions such as Rapid STD Testing which makes it easy to get the peace of mind that you need.

How Will Herpes Change Your Life?

The reality is that being diagnosed with this STD won't change your life that much at all. You might want to look at herpes and safe sex to make sure that you reduce the chances of spreading it to your partner during an outbreak. But even without wearing a condom, the chances are quite low unless you have clear symptoms. If that's the case, you might want to wait for them to pass before you have sex. The fear surrounding herpes has grown completely out of control over the last few years. Experts argue that the virus that causes genital herpes is virtually identical to the one which causes cold sores. Indeed, if you do develop cold sores, you have one of the most common forms of the herpes virus. This is just one more piece of evidence that herpes is nothing to worry about and there's no need to be embarrassed even if you notice symptoms of genital herpes. You just need to make sure that you do get checked out to make sure you have the right diagnosis.

We hope this helps you understand why herpes isn't as bad as most people think. Indeed, in terms of sexually transmitted diseases, it's arguably the best one that you can be diagnosed with. It's virtually harmless and also highly treatable. While there's no cure for herpes it's not going to have the massive impact on your life that you might assume. We must move away from this stigma, particularly when we consider how common herpes actually is.


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By: RSC Editorial Team
August 2, 2021

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