Herpes - Viral Infection

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes is a viral infection caused by two types of the herpes simplex virus: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Type 1 usually gives you cold sores on or around the mouth. Type 2 usually gives you sores or blisters around your butthole, balls or penis. But, both types can cause infections around the mouth and genitals. Because herpes is a virus, you will always have it. There are medications and treatments available to help with symptoms. 

How do I get herpes?

Herpes is spread by skin-to-skin touching with infected areas of someone who has it. This includes kissing, blow jobs, rimming, anal sex and vaginal sex with or without a condom. You can pick up or pass on herpes even if you do not have a sore or outbreak. If you have a rash on a part of your body that is not covered by a condom, you can give your guy herpes. Condoms are not 100% effective in preventing the spread of herpes. 

If a guy has a herpes sore in his mouth and gives you a blow job, he can give you genital herpes. #goodtimes

How do I know if I have herpes?

Symptoms vary from person to person. You may never have symptoms, or symptoms may be so mild you don't know you are experiencing them. 

If you do have symptoms, they can be an outbreak of blisters on your thighs, penis or in or around your butthole or mouth. They are often very painful. The first outbreak of genital herpes is usually the worst, but it can take months and sometimes years from when you were exposed to when you have your first outbreak. The rash people get can be different. Some people only get outbreaks once and other people get them more frequently.

How do I get tested for herpes? 

If you are experiencing symptoms, be honest with your medical care provider and ask for a physical exam. Health Center One and Health Center Five do not offer testing for herpes unless you have symptoms. They do not offer a blood test for herpes, but your doctor might. If you do not have symptoms and want to get tested, call your medical health care provider to see if they offer testing. 

What do I do if I have herpes?

Like other viral infections, there is no cure for herpes and unfortunately, you have it for life. You can take medication to prevent outbreaks, to help sores heal more quickly or when you feel an outbreak coming on.  

Talk to the guys you play or hook up with about your medical history. It may be a difficult conversation to have and DYP is here if you need some help. 

Use condoms every time you have oral, anal or vaginal sex. Even though condoms don't prevent the spread of herpes 100%, they help keep you and your guy healthy and reduce the chance you are exposed to the Herpes virus. 

Herpes and HIV

If you have an infection like HIV, your outbreaks may be more frequent or more severe. If you are HIV-positive, herpes may increase the amount of virus in your cum, increasing the chance of passing on HIV to your guy. Herpes can cause open sores which make it easier for HIV to be passed on. 




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