Herpes virus, or Herpes Simplex Virus, is a highly contagious viral infection that can be passed from person to person majorly via bodily fluids; it usually exhibits little or no symptoms in some, but can be deadly for others. There are some misconceptions about herpes viral infection which usually mislead the general public to take the wrong decisions when they are infected with the virus, it is wisely imperative to note the difference between the right and wrong as regards the herpes virus.
Here are some of the facts you need to know about herpes virus which will erase the myths already ingrained in your mind.
- There are two types of Herpes Virus: The two available types of Herpes virus are the Type 1 (also called HSV-1) and Type 2 (also called HSV-2).
- The HSV-1 causes the mouth infection: HSV-1 can be contracted via kissing, sharing lip balm, and as well, sharing utensils.
- The HSV-2 causes the genital infection: HSV-2 can be transmitted via sexual intercourse, which could be oral, vaginal, and anal.
- HSV-1 is usually easier to diagnose than the HSV-2 because individuals with HSV-2 usually exhibit no symptom.
- Herpes virus is known to cause blisters/cold sores, or sore throats: This is a mild symptom of the viral infection.
- Herpes virus is not limited to gender: Herpes virus can be contracted by all. Although it might be mostly seen in a particular gender, it is not limited to that gender. It is not also limited to any age group; it cuts across all age groups.
- Herpes Virus is asymptomatic: Quite a lot of people are not aware of the fact that the herpes virus is present in their body system because it exhibits little or no symptoms. The viral infection is mostly asymptomatic in nature.
- Condom use: The use of a condom by sexual partners can reduce the risk of the spread of infection, especially for those with multiple sex partners. Studies have shown that the female condom appears to be more effective than the male condoms in this case. It is, however, important to know that it is not an assurance that the viral infection can be totally prevented by the use of condoms.
- Herpes virus is different from cervical cancer: Although herpes virus and cervical cancer share few symptoms, the herpes virus is not cervical cancer. Most people confuse them to be the same because of the numerous similarities that exist between them.
- Herpes infection is not curable: There is no cure for the herpes virus infection, although some antiviral drugs like acyclovir might be prescribed by the physician in order to suppress the activity of the virus and prevent further spread to loved ones. Alternatively, painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help in pain reduction; Aloe Vera can also be used to reduce the growth and division rate of the virus.
- Herpes can be diagnosed: Early diagnosis can be done and is essential for the management of Herpes virus. Therefore, if you experience little of the symptoms of the infection, present yourself to your physician for diagnosis and adequate management before it becomes worsened. Laboratory culture is used mainly for the diagnosis of the infection in the hospital.
- Herpes occurs more in women than men: There is an increased incidence of Herpes virus among women. Women tend to have it more because of their anatomical structure.
- Herpes has its own Symptoms: Some symptoms of herpes include ulcers (wounds), blisters, and vaginal discharge. Some patients also experience pain while urinating, yet, others may experience symptoms similar to that of fever.
- Herpes virus does not affect fertility; it cannot be transferred in the genes but can only be transmitted in body fluids.
- Herpes virus is not a toilet infection as most believe across the world.
- The virus can also be passed from mothers to offspring at birth if the mother is infected with the virus.
- Research is ongoing towards the development of a vaccine for prevention and also drugs for the cure of the virus.
The best way to avoid the herpes infection is by total abstinence from sex or sticking with a single sex partner who is free and not a carrier of the infection. It is however important to always note that the use of condoms is essential when total abstinence from sex cannot be maintained, this will help in the reduction of one’s susceptibility to the infection of STDs, of which the Herpes virus is inclusive.
Therefore, unlearn the initial myths you had about the herpes virus and focus more on the facts stated above for proper enlightenment and management of Herpes.