**For an updated post on this blog, please go here**
Herpes is one of the most prevalent and contagious viral STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) in the world. It is caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2) infection. How many people have it? In the US alone, it is reported that at least 45 million over the age of 12 have had genital HSV infection. Genital HSV-2 is much more common in women (about 1 out of 4 women) than in men (about 1 out of 8).
Most people who have herpes have NO or only minimal signs or symptoms. Common signs typically appear as one of more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters can commonly be misdiagnosed as ingrown hair follicles or a rash. If the blisters break, they will leave sores that usually take between 2 to 4 weeks to heal and clear. Subsequent outbreaks tend to be less severe and last shorter then the first noticeable outbreak.
Brave people who admit to having herpes will often report to feeling that "tell tale" tingling just prior to experiencing an outbreak or "shedding". From a public health standpoint, medical providers USED to say that this is the time to totally avoid sexual contact. More recently, newer infections have been reported during non-shedding times as the infection stays indefinitely in the body.
Here are some ways you can NOT get herpes:
- toilet seats
Here is how to test for herpes:
- blood test
- visual inspection during an outbreak
- swab test
The most common treatment for herpes is a combination of antiviral and suppressive medications like Valtrex.
Being that it is so prevalent, there are MANY Hollywood celebrities who allegedly have herpes. Here are some of the celebs I know of (allegedly):
- Janet Jackson
- Robin WIlliams
- Jeff Goldbloom**
- Derek Jeter who allegedly gave it to
- Jessica Alba
- Paris Hilton (duh!)
- Pamela Anderson
- Billy Idol
- Fred Durst
**Allegedly, they pass it along freely with out informing potential sex partners
Catherine Toyooka is the founder of Catherine Coaches, a unique business offering both confidential and professional dating and sex coaching assistance to individuals living in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Catherine is also a sex educator with Good Vibrations and travels the world as a sexuality speaker. For more information on Catherine and to get a complete list of her services, please visit http://www.catherinecoaches.com.