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Oral herpes or cold sores – what are you living with?

Herpes, a sexually transmitted infection cause by the herpes simplex virus affects 1 in 5 persons in the United States. With no cure in sight, once you’re affected with the virus, you have it forever. However, there are multitudinous ways by which you can control the frequency and severity of the outbreaks.

Oral Herpes

According to official figures, more than 50 percent of the American adult population is living with oral herpes, a sexually transmitted infection that is incurable. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus – 1, popularly termed HSV – 1. While it has been claimed that HSV – 1 is transmitted through oral sex, most people get it on coming in physical contact with the virus, such as in the event of getting a kiss from a friend or relative.

The condition is also referred to as “cold sores” or “fever blisters”. The symptoms associated with this variant of herpes usually appear around or on the lips but it isn’t limited to this area. Some people have also experienced such symptoms inside the nose. It is due to such instances that oral herpes has been renamed as oral – facial herpes. HSV – 1 is asymptomatic in nature, which means the virus has the tendency of spreading even when there are no visible symptoms. This is referred to as viral shedding, asymptomatic shedding or asymptomatic reactivation.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are little blisters that appear on the surface of the skin, caused as a result of infection by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores are painful and usually clear up without treatment in about a week to 10 days. People affected with the herpes simplex virus may or may not experience any major symptoms. However, it is worth mentioning that the individual is still prone to spreading the infection even when there are no visible symptoms.

What cause them to happen? Cold sores occur due to a specific strain of the herpes simplex virus known as the HSV – 1. In some cases, cold sores may also happen as a result of infection cause due to the HSV – 2 strain of the virus. Having oral sex with someone already living with genital herpes may make you prone to this condition.

Who is more likely to get herpes?

Persons who are sexually active are likely to get oral herpes or cold sores. Given the fact that body fluids such as semen or vaginal liquids aren’t the only cause behind the spread of the virus, contacting herpes is fairly easy. It is always advised to get tasted for the virus, especially when you have multiple partners or you’re experience some symptoms associated with the condition as mentioned above.

How to stay safe when dating someone with oral herpes?

Oral herpes is one of the most common STIs in the United States, affective over 50 percent of the adult population. The condition caused due to the herpes simplex virus currently has no cure but you do have antiviral drugs that would help you deal with its symptoms. Given the fact that herpes affects more than half the number of adults in the United States of America alone, it is likely that either you or your partner is already affected with herpes.

In case you’ve recently discovered about your partner’s diagnosis and wondering as to what your next step should be, this article should be of great help.

Understand the condition

While most people think that STIs have a greater physical impact, in reality they tear a person emotionally. It is essential that you understand what your partner has been through in the past and make every possible effort to help him overcome the trauma. There are chances your partner might still not be able to accept the fact that he’s in a relationship and someone accepted him the way he is. Learn more about the condition and make sure you lend support.

Take every possible precaution

Unlike other sexually transmitted diseases that transmit through exchange of body fluids, herpes can be spread through direct physical contact with the infected part of the body. For instance, if your partner has blisters on the lips, kissing him would make you vulnerable to getting infected. Get acquainted with the symptoms associated with herpes and what happens in the event of an outbreak. Equip yourself with all the critical resources that would help you keep herpes at bay.

Don’t shy away from using contraceptives

A lot of people feel that the use of condoms and diaphragms reduce the pleasure of sex. It is worth mentioning that this is a worthy trade off as it reduces the risk of coming in contact with the herpes simplex virus. Regardless of what your partner feels about it, insist on using condoms. In addition, people with herpes are also advised to take antiviral drugs in order to diminish the chances of transmitting the virus. However, it is recommended you consult your healthcare provider to learn the requisite dosage that would keep you safe.

There is nothing wrong in dating someone with herpes, provided you are equipped with all the critical information that would keep you safe. Although medical experts advise people with herpes to date individuals having the same variant of the virus, in some case this isn’t possible. There are chances when you’re dating someone and get to know that he’s affected with herpes. Leaving someone high and dry when you’re already in love with him seems to be bad idea.

Also read: Life and dating tips for young girls living with HSV – 1