A herpes diagnosis can send even the most well balanced individual into an emotional tailspin of depression. It is an incurable disease and although it isn't deadly, and considered a mere annoyance to the medical community - carries a taboo throughout all of society. Chances are you feel incredibly lonely, isolated, dirty - and angry. If you are single, you're also concerned about your chances of having a healthy and fulfilling love life as well. Depression is a very natural reaction to have when you suffer from the herpes virus - but now is the time to educate yourself and learn what it is that you can do to overcome these feelings and live a normal life.
Top Herpes Myths Dispelled:
1. I can't have children: This is absolutely 100% FALSE. The herpes simplex virus will not prevent you from having children, nor can you pass on the disease to your children in utero or during the conception process. HSV type 1 (oral) and type 2 (genital) are contracted via skin to skin contact. This is why many in the medical community consider the virus to be more of a dermatological disease, even though it is often passed through sexual contact. You will contract herpes through seminal fluid, vaginal fluid or blood. If you are a man, you can still reproduce - and if you are a woman, you can still conceive. It is important that your doctor knows your status ahead of time because most often, a woman with genital herpes will be given a Cesarean section (c-section) instead of having a vaginal birth to reduce the chances of the child coming into contact with the virus in the vaginal canal.
2. I can't donate blood: FALSE! The inability to donate blood is another common misconception associated with the herpes virus. Let me state once again - the herpes simplex virus is not a blood-based virus. When you contract herpes, oral or genital, it "lives" within the nervous system of the body. If you have oral - it generally rests in the base of the neck, when you have genital - it rests in the base of your spine. When dormant, it just kind of lays there - harmless, but when active - it travels via the nervous system to it's outbreak location. According to the Red Cross and all medical studies, donating blood when you have HSV is perfectly safe. They ask that you avoid doing so when having your initial outbreak or even subsequent recurrent outbreaks.
3. I can no longer work around or hang around kids: FALSE! The guilt and depression associated with the virus tends to cause some sufferers to withdraw from the world. They feel that they are the most disgusting person around and go through great lengths to avoid interacting with people, especially children. Once again - stop beating yourself up! The chances of casually transmitting the virus to children are very slim. Did you know that an estimated 75% of the U.S. population has some form of HSV - for the large majority it is type 1, oral herpes. Don't allow your diagnosis to cause you to stop living your best life possible. Now the virus is passed from skin to skin contact, so common sense hygiene practices are in order when dealing with the public. Keep your hands clean, avoid touching any sores during outbreaks, and keep your hands away from your mouth and eyes.
4. My sex life is over: Herpes will undoubtedly change your sex life, but it is far from over. You will definitely need to be careful, more responsible - and less spontaneous...but you can have a full happy sex life. You aren't limited to the type of sex you have either, you are just limited in the ability to be "carefree". This can be a good thing though - so don't fret.
5. No one will want a serious relationship with me: FALSE! I won't try to paint a rosy picture of easy dating and acceptance by everyone you come across. Relationships aren't easy to begin with, and that is even more true when you have an incurable disease of any sort.There are some people who will reject you without even giving you the benefit of the doubt. Others may give you a chance, only to later decide that they don't want to take that risk. You may also decide that you rather only date other people with herpes, if that is the case - there are thousands and thousands of people waiting to meet you. There a several great online dating sites for people with the herpes virus - including PositiveSingles.com and MPWH.net