Female doctor speaking to female patient.

Herpes Myths vs. Facts

The Truth About Herpes

If you are living with herpes, knowing the facts about the virus is vital. Unfortunately, many myths and misconceptions about herpes can cause confusion and fear. This blog will break down some of the most common myths about herpes and explain why they're untrue. We'll also look at the latest statistics in California and across the United States to help provide a better understanding of the virus.

Myth #1: You Can Only Contract Herpes Through Sexual Intercourse

This myth is not true. While herpes can be contracted through sexual intercourse, it can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact or shared objects such as towels or razors. It's important to note that you cannot contract herpes by hugging or shaking hands with someone with it. Despite the common misconception that unprotected sexual intercourse is the only way to contract herpes, it is important to know that there are a plethora of other ways this virus can be communicated. Herpes can be spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area; this could include kissing, oral sex, and even sharing towels and cups. However, one of the most worrying facts about herpes is that it can be transmitted even if no visible signs or symptoms of the virus are present. Therefore, if you or your partners have had any form of intimate contact with someone who has been diagnosed with herpes, it is important to get tested yourself, as oftentimes carriers may not know they have contracted it. Taking proactive safety precautions regarding all forms of intimate contact, even when no visible symptoms are present, are key in preventing the spread of herpes and protecting yourself from infection.

Myth #2: People With Herpes Have Few Treatment Options

There are quite a few treatment options available for people living with herpes. These include antiviral medications, creams, and ointments, which can help reduce symptoms and make outbreaks less severe. Of course, lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress can also help manage symptoms of herpes. People dealing with herpes often have to overcome both physical and emotional challenges. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for them to make this journey easier. From antiviral medications that can lessen the frequency of outbreaks to topical treatments such as creams or ointments that reduce inflammation and itching, there are multiple paths to managing this condition. A doctor may also be able to work out a tailored approach that incorporates lifestyle changes such as diet and stress-reduction techniques which specifically address the needs of the individual person. Whatever the strategy is chosen, taking active steps toward controlling herpes can help those affected live normal, fulfilling lives.

Myth #3: HSV-1 Does not Affect the Genitals

It's important to know the facts about herpes and how it is transmitted. Contrary to popular belief, herpes doesn't discriminate between body regions – either type of the virus, HSV-1 or HSV-2, can infect areas of the genitals and even the mouth. That means both types are highly contagious, and anyone can get either type of herpes through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person during oral sex or other sexual contact. It is important to practice safe sex at all times by using condoms, dental dams, and/or gloves to prevent the spreading of the virus. Together we can seek medical help for proper diagnosis and treatment that is available for herpes sufferers and decrease the stigma associated with this common virus.

Myth #4: Herpes Is Rare in California & The US

This myth couldn't be further from the truth! According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), In 2018, estimates from the @CDC show that there were approximately 572,000 new genital herpes cases in the U.S. among people aged 14 to 49. approximately one out of every six people ages 14-49 have genital herpes in the US alone. In California specifically, about 4 million people live with genital or oral herpes—roughly 17% of all Californians. This is far from rare! Herpes is a surprisingly common condition; according to the 2019 CDC report, about half of all Americans aged 14-49 are carrying the virus. Despite its prevalence, herpes can be quite embarrassing to talk about, and many people who have it feel like they are alone and that there is a stigma surrounding the condition. It’s important to recognize that there is help out there if you need it and to know that herpes does not define you as a person. Education and maintaining good hygiene practices can go a long way in preventing transmission and reducing symptoms, so if you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with herpes, it’s never too late to start learning more about this misunderstood virus.

Myth #5: You Can’t Hold Someone Accountable for Knowingly Transmitting Herpes to You

It is understandably a daunting and anxiety-inducing prospect to hold someone accountable for knowingly transmitting herpes to you, but it is possible. Contrary to popular belief, if someone has intentionally given you herpes and neglected to inform you, then they are in breach of both criminal law and the law of negligence. Therefore, while it may be a challenge to have or find relevant evidence and witnesses to establish that the person was aware of their health status when they infected you, holding them accountable is not an impossibility; indeed, some people have successfully taken their perpetrators through court proceedings. Additionally and perhaps more importantly, talking about the incident with an understanding lawyer or another confidant can help greatly in providing emotional closure on the matter.

Understandably, living with herpes can be difficult due to misunderstandings and the negative stigma surrounding it. However, by separating fact from fiction, we can better understand this virus—and how to manage our symptoms if we contract it properly. By being informed about its prevalence and transmission methods, we can ensure that we stay safe while leading whole lives despite being diagnosed with this virus.

Filing a Legal Clain After Being Diagnosed With Herpes

Recovering from the betrayal of someone knowingly transmitting herpes can be a daunting and emotionally difficult process. If you believe that you have been exposed to this virus, getting legal support can be highly beneficial. Seeking out and consulting with a legal professional can provide you with emotional and financial support. With their guidance, you may be able to better understand your rights in terms of pursuing a civil claim if applicable or providing other forms of assistance. Though it may seem intimidating, talking to an experienced lawyer could offer security in the climax of such a traumatizing event. There are many options available, so don't hesitate to look into those resources that best fit your specific situation.

Call KMD Law at (833) 456-3529 for a free, confidential consultation.