THE FREIGHT TRAIN- STDs: Herpes
I had a hard time picking which STD to write on considering that they are quite a lot to begin with. I however thought about the commonest STDs among the youth and settled on herpes.
Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease that can affect the mouth (oral) or the genitals. It is caused by the simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or the simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes is very common and sometimes have symptoms which we will discuss.
Oral herpes leaves its victims with cold sores. Cold sores or fever blisters are small, painful, fluid filled blisters that appears on the mouth, throat, cheek, chin, nose or fingers. People with oral herpes may experience itching or pain at the affected area which will be preceded by blisters in a day or two. After the blister occurs, they break, leak infectious fluid and then crust in over a period of 2-24 days.
Oral herpes can be contracted during oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected person. It can be spread though close contact with an infected person or through a kiss. An infected person can also spread the virus to other parts of his or her body upon touch. Avoid contact with infected person- sexual intercourse even with condom should be avoided till the sore is fully treated. People with herpes should regularly wash their hands to avoid spreading to others.
As the name implies, genital herpes occurs around the genitals. Genital herpes may sometimes be mistaken for some other skin condition like pimple. It is always good practice to report any skin condition that occurs after an unprotected sex. Genital herpes sores may leave blisters around the genitals which is sometimes accompanied by flu like symptoms such as fever, body aches, and swollen glands.
Both herpes can easily be treated although there is no cure. Herpes during pregnancy can cause a lot problems to the unborn baby. The baby may be delivered early or even worse there could be a miscarriage. Babies can also be born with a potentially deadly infection. It is therefore important not to get STD during one’s pregnancy. Pregnant women with herpes can protect their babies by reporting to their doctors early that they have herpes so that they are treated for it.
Sources: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, www.herpes.com