People seem to believe in many things, including some misconceptions about Herpes virus and herpes infections, so it is best to know what is true and what is not. First of all, the proven medical fact is that herpes is not a genetic condition but an infection with a virus known as Herpes simplex virus. Many people experience the first infection with this virus during childhood, but this is simply because kids get in contact with the virus, not because it is passed to them from their parents.
Children may get herpes infection by sharing a glass or a toy with another child (already infected with Herpes simplex virus type 1) or when an older relative infected with this virus kisses them. Either way this is not something you can inherit. Also, even though you might have read it somewhere on the Internet, herpes is certainly not caused by Gulf War Syndrome.
Herpes is usually found to be spread by skin-to-skin contact or when people share drinks. There is no case when someone contracts herpes infection from a toilet seat or in the swimming pool.
Also, what one needs to know is that herpes infection cannot be cured. Scientists and doctors are developing vaccines against herpes, but so far, there are only medications which make symptoms less prominent and lower the chances of outbreaks and spreading of the virus.
Herpes and Sex
Adults, on the other hand, may get infected with Herpes type 1 (HSV1) in the same way, but also contract herpes or genital herpes (infection with Herpes simplex type 2, HSV2) after unprotected sex (oral, anal or vaginal) with the infected person. Both HSV1 and HSV2 can infect your mouth and your genitals and can be transferred to another person you are having sex with. It does not matter if it is vaginal, oral or anal sex, so make sure to use condom every time to protect yourself from this disease.
As a matter of fact, regardless what you may have read, herpes infection is proven to increase the chances to get some other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV. Genital herpes will not cause sterility, but some other STDs, such as Chlamydia will. To be protected – use a condom every time you have sex.
Herpes Symptoms – Cold Sores and Genital Herpes
Cold sores or fever blisters are usually caused by HSV1 and rarely by HSV2. Some prefer to call these skin lesions cold sores, to avoid using the word herpes, but these little blisters on the mouth are actually caused by Herpes virus. Canker sores are something different, since these ulcers appear inside the mouth and have no known causes so far. You will never see a canker sore on the lips but only herpes related cold sore.
Genital herpes may be sometimes misidentified as a pimple or bug bite while some patients do not have any symptoms at all. Even though you do not need to have problems, if you have herpes infection you can transfer it to another person. Because of that, use a condom to protect yourself and your partner.
Some people do not know that herpes may occur on different parts of the body. Beside the lips and genitals, herpes may also cause different problems, including eczema herpeticum (herpes-related eczema), herpetic sycosis (infection of hair follicles), herpetic keratoconjunctivitis (eye infection) and also herpesviral meningitis (infection of the brain’s membranes).