Unfortunately, genital herpes has become a very common sexually transmitted disease in both the US and worldwide. Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, the number of Americans with a genital herpes infection increased by some thirty per cent. The largest increase has been among teens and young adults. The latest studies show that at least 45 million people aged 12 and older have this infection – that is an astounding ONE in FIVE adolescents and adults.
This infection is caused by both the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) although type 2 is more frequently the cause of genital herpes (some 90 to 95%). The big problem with this sexually transmitted disease is that most people infected are not aware of their infection and of course when they are unaware of their status, the disease can be constantly spread to other sexual partners. Many who have herpes may only become aware of their infection if they experience an outbreak of small and sometimes painful blisters on the genitals and surrounding areas. Many times, these blisters can occur
Genital herpes is contagious and it is spread by having sexual intercourse or any form of sex. For example if you have oral sex with a person who has oral herpes (commonly known as cold sores) then you are at risk of catching genital herpes. By the same token touching, sexual intimacy and kissing are all activities which can spread the virus.
It’s strongly advised you take proper precautions when engaging in sexual or skin-to-skin contact with someone who has herpes.
It should also be noted, that those living with herpes are NOT contagious all the time. There are actually a few times a year they are – however, those times aren’t exactly known. Suppressive therapy treatment can reduce the shedding process and risk of transmission by a great deal. So that’s something that should be considered when getting involved with someone with herpes.