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Basic Herpes Facts

  • Herpes is the 2nd most common STD after HPV (Human Papiloma Virus).
  • Over 25 million Americans* (16.2%) have genital herpes (HSV1 or HSV2). That’s more than the entire population of Australia!
  • 80% of Americans have Oral HSV1 (AKA Cold Sores)
  • 50% of all new cases of Genital Herpes comes from HSV1  usually acquired from oral sex.
  • 80% of all Herpes carriers are unaware that they have Herpes
  • Herpes is NOT normally included in the normal STD panel… even if you asked for “everything”. You will normally have to specifically ASK to have the Herpes test to be added to the panel.
  • Roughly 15-20% of people will only have one outbreak and will never have another recurrence. This is one of the reasons why many are unaware that they have Herpes…especially if their first outbreak was very mild.
  • Herpes can be spread even when no sore is present through Asymptomatic Shedding
  • Herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact. You cannot get it from a toilet seat, or by just rubbing up against someone who has Herpes. The vast majority of Herpes is spread though kissing and direct sexual contact…most of the rest is from direct manual contact with an open blister/sore.
  • Herpes prefers the warm, moist environment of the lips and genital regions but can be spread to other areas of skin or the eyes usually through autoinoculation when a person is in their first few months of having acquired the virus. Once the body develops the antibodies to the Herpes virus autoinoculation is very rare.
  • Most people have 4-6 outbreaks a year once their body has developed the antibodies to the virus. People with HSV1 genitally usually have fewer outbreaks than this because the HSV1 (coldsore) version doesn’t thrive as well in the genital region. However, it can still be spread by asymptomatic shedding.
  • Once you have HSV on one area of your body, it is less likely (but not impossible) to get the same variety on another area because you already have the antibodies to the virus.

Slaying the Stigma of Herpes, One Blog at a Time