Genital herpes is a topic not readily discussed in the course of normal conversation however, if you’re aged 25 and over, and are sexually active with multiple partners then it would be wise to be tested for genital herpes.
A recent study in Australia ( May 2006 ) revealed at least one in eight people people in that country have genital herpes. If that sounds alarming then it should be. A first nation-wide study also found herpes was most prevalent in people aged 35 to 44 and city folk were more likely to be carrying the virus than their "country cousins."
So what to do? Being a little less promiscuous could be the answer but this would only be a superficial fix. The problem lies in the fact that at least 80 per cent of people who have genital herpes don’t know they have it. And it’s fair to say those who contract the virus do so innocently. Affected people who pass it on and are unaware they have it, don’t experience the symptoms. The obvious answer once again is to get tested especially if you’ve had multiple partners.
Why are people reluctant to be tested? Is there are kind of aura of shame with knowing you have genital herpes? Medical experts will tell you don’t be embarrassed; the sooner you have the condition treated the better. Makes sense. So why don’t people get tested or why do they delay the process? Maybe more educational programs should be put in place but from where I sit, I think the proper authorities have performed a good job in making the community aware of their responsibilities in this area.
The news is not so good for women. Twice as many women are likely to contract genital herpes than men simply because of their physiological make up. This doesn’t suggest men have less responsibility in getting tested than women. It’s a two-way street.
The study found the prevalence of herpes varies from country to country with genital herpes more prevalent in some while oral herpes was confirmed at a higher rate in others.
Get over any short time embarrassment you may experience initially and do the sensible thing; not just if you have multiple partners: if it doesn’t feel right, consult your doctor. Sound advice for mine.