Here's why herpes isn't as bad as you think.
Herpes is very common - often hidden
Genital herpes is caused by one among two viruses, either herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or type 2. HSV-1 also causes cold sores or fever blisters round the mouth, “but the disease trends have changed over time and now they will both cause genital sores,” Talia Swartz, MD, professor of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of drugs at Sinai in ny City, tells Health.
In most cases, herpes genitalis may be a “manageable infection without long-term physical health consequences,” Christine Johnston, MD, professor of allergy and infectious diseases at the University of Washington, tells Health. It’s also surprisingly common: About one in six American adults has HSV-2. Even more have HSV-1, though most of the people do not realize it.
The pain of herpes is more emotional than physical
"I don't know why genital herpes has this pariah, fearful component to it," H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Washington Center for AIDS and STD, tells Health. "People are more afraid of herpes than they are of chlamydia, and in the long run chlamydia is more likely to cause serious damage to their reproductive and general health than herpes ever is."
But getting a herpes diagnosis does come with emotional baggage. “If you are infected, you have a duty to warn partne