This is what other sites don’t tell you:
(For the related condition, herpes zoster, please go to the Shingles Support Society page.)
- Genital herpes is caused by a herpes simplex virus (type 1 or type 2) – nearly everyone (70%) will catch at least one type, sooner or later.
- Most don’t know they have it: 1 in 3 will have symptoms and get diagnosed. The others have mild symptoms and so they are unlikely to be diagnosed – or they have no symptoms at all.
- The word ‘incurable’ is used to make it seem important when it isn’t.
- Some people get recurrences and we can advise on how these can be reduced and stopped.
- Many other infections stay with us – chickenpox, glandular fever are two. Other infections also hide in the body. Nobody makes a fuss about them.
You can get a 2-page summary: “All you need to know” – as a printable PDF.
You can listen to two members and our director, Marian Nicholson, chatting about getting rid of the stigma on Woman’s Hour – 6 minutes in.
Other web sites exaggerate the worst cases and tell you genital herpes is serious. Don’t be fooled. You don’t have to worry about it. Serious complications are incredibly rare. As we state above, most of us have at least one type of herpes simplex and don’t even know.
Our director gives her personal account:
Join and get lots of information
For example, 4-page instructions for ‘Talking to a new partner’ and 2 pages on ‘How to protect my partner (transmission)’, and lots more… We can help you get it in proportion: see subscription details. See what’s in the current issue of SPHERE.
Professor George Kinghorn, an emeritus professor of sexual health, says:
“… to be infected with a herpes simplex virus is a state of normality. We tend to make this into a big deal instead of saying that to be infected with herpes virus is something that happens to all adults, some with symptoms and some of us without.”
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Important: If you have not been diagnosed, do not jump to conclusions!
Find out if you have genital herpes: go to a Sexual Health (Genitourinary Medicine) Clinic. You will find one in most towns and cities – or search databases here or here. We cannot diagnose what might be affecting you by email or on the telephone helpline.
The more you know, the less you worry!
This page was written under the Information Standard rules.
Issued on 22/12/2017
Review date: no later than 22/12/2020.
Full references for the statements made can be sent on request. Send us an email at [email protected].
The Information Standard states: The HVA shall hold responsibility for the accuracy of the information they publish. Neither the Scheme Operator nor the Scheme Owner shall have any responsibility whatsoever for costs, losses or direct or indirect damages or costs arising from inaccuracy of information or omissions in information published on the website on behalf of the HVA. Disclaimer: note that the blog and other personal experience stories are excluded from the scope of IS certification.