Cold Sore Myths
There are many myths and misconceptions about herpes that can lead to misunderstandings and stigma about the condition. Here are a few common myths about herpes:
Myth #1: Herpes is a rare condition.
Fact: Herpes is actually a very common condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 8 people in the United States between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes, and about 50-80% of people have oral herpes.
Myth #2: Herpes is a death sentence.
Fact: While herpes can be a painful and inconvenient condition, it is not a death sentence. While there is no cure for herpes, it is a manageable condition that can be controlled with antiviral medications and other treatments. People with herpes can lead normal, healthy lives with proper management and care.
Myth #3: You can only get herpes through sexual contact.
Fact: While genital herpes is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact, oral herpes (cold sores) can also be transmitted through close contact with saliva or other bodily fluids. In addition, both types of herpes can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, even if there are no visible sores present.
Myth #4: If you have herpes, you can't have children.
Fact: While herpes can be passed from mother to child during childbirth, with proper management and care, people with herpes can still have children. It's important for pregnant women with herpes to consult with their healthcare providers to determine the best course of action for their pregnancy.
Myth #5: Herpes is only contagious when there are visible sores present.
Fact: While herpes sores are most contagious when they are present, the virus can also be transmitted when there are no visible sores present. This is known as asymptomatic shedding, and it occurs when the virus is present on the skin but there are no visible signs of infection.
It's important to recognize that herpes is a common and manageable condition, and to seek out accurate information about it rather than relying on myths or misinformation. If you have any concerns about herpes or any other health issue, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider.