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Herpes FAQ

Genital herpes is a hidden epidemic that's being spread even without symptoms. Do doctors and patients know the simple truth about genital herpes? From what I have read not too many people understand how herpes is being spread.

Health care professionals continue to attempt to diagnose herpes by sight OR symptoms are mistaken for other things such as yeast infection, jock itch, etc. Below is a list of Truths and Myths about Genital Herpes that I think will take you by surprise.

False: The spread of genital herpes is largely under control these days.

True: Genital herpes is spreading at epidemic proportions, with up to 1 million new patients becoming infected every year. Nationwide, one of every five adults is currently infected.

False: Genital herpes is spread by patients only during active outbreaks

True: Although genital herpes is most contagious during active outbreaks, Mertz et al showed that up to 70% of transmission may result from sexual contact during periods of asymptomatic viral shedding.

False: Asymptomatic viral shedding occurs only in a small percentage of patients with genital herpes and occurs right before or after an outbreak.

True: A majority of patients with genital herpes experience asymptomatic viral shedding which often occurs independent of outbreaks.

False: Asymptomatic viral shedding occurs only in patients who report a history of genital herpes.

True: Patients who are seropositive with no reported history of genital herpes shed virus asymptomatically at a rate similar to patients with a reported history of outbreaks (3.0% vs 2.7%, respectively).

False: Most people with genital herpes know they are infected with the disease.

True: Up to 90% of those infected are unaware they have the virus that causes genital herpes.

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