WARNING: It’s Way Easier To Get Herpes Than You Think
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…except for herpes, that shit’ll come back with you.”
Remember this quote from The Hangover? You probably do, because it was pretty damn funny. Herpes is probably the STD that is the butt of most jokes. Why? Maybe because it’s not deadly, or maybe because it’s so widespread. However, you may not realize how widespread herpes really is…or how easy it is to contract.
First off, two out of three people are carrying some form of the herpes virus. While the threat of STD’s may seem like one of those things that will never happen to you, statistics like this say otherwise.
Granted, there are two types of herpes; oral vs. genital. Both types of herpes are completely separate. Having the virus on your mouth does not mean that you also carry the virus in your genitals. However, you can very easily spread herpes from your mouth to someone else’s genitals. In fact, this is actually the #1 way that herpes is spread.
Basically, if you think that you only need a condom for sex, you may want to think again…or at least start actively asking partners to get tested before giving or receiving oral. We know it’s awkward…but so is the freak-out you’d have if you developed herpes after getting eaten out.
But then again, is herpes really so bad? I feel that most people don’t actually know what the herpes virus entails, they only know that it’s an STD and the negative stigma surrounding it. Unlike HIV, HPV, and Syphilis, herpes really doesn’t cause any serious health problems other than a (painful) rash that may or may not appear again after the first break-out.
Obviously, I don’t see a future where Herpes is a desirable STI to be infected with, but I’m just saying that things could be worse.
The only way to truly prevent yourself from getting herpes (or any STI for that matter) is to consistently get tested and ask your partner to do the same. It’s very possible for someone to have herpes without realizing it, as some strains can be very mild or be infected inside the genitals rather than outside.
Another reason to make sure your partner is clean is because herpes is not completely protected by the use of condoms. By using a condom, you only decrease your chances of contracting herpes by 30-40%, because the virus can be transmitted from skin to skin contact.
Luckily, most carriers of herpes are only contagious when they have a breakout. Unfortunately, there is no tried and true research for this, so it’s hard to know when you are safe.
The most common misconception about herpes is that if your long-term partner suddenly has herpes, people assume that their partner has cheated. This isn’t always the case, due to the fact that herpes can lay dormant in the body for months or even years. Just like you may have randomly gotten a cold sore, your partner may have randomly gotten genital warts. It’s not sexy, but it happens. Unfortunately, the reason herpes is the most widespread STI is because of the easiness which it is spread, and the only way to avoid it is to know the facts.