Let's talk about herpes: not forgetting shingles and cold sores!


Herpes is a very common. Infection is permanent but mostly asymptomatic (no symptoms are experienced). It is subject to social myth and associated with sexual indiscretion. People with herpes are needlessly stigmatised. Despite its subtle nature, ability to easily spread, and almost universal prevalence, people are terrified to have what may be a rite of life. This article will explain herpes and address the social judgement, along with facts about its diagnosis. Hopefully knowing a little more can begin a change in everyone's perspective.

What is herpes?

Herpes is the name given to the herpes simplex virus family, a virus of nerves. The most common strains are HSV1 and HSV2, both of which cause a sore or blistering on the skin.

These blisters cover areas supplied by the infected nerve, are well-localised (existing on one side of the body) and pave the way for a tingling or odd feeling when the nerve is inflamed. Sometimes these blisters are so subtle that they are never seen or are mistaken foracne, folliculitis or heat rash. A sore or blister can be easily missed.

Read on to find out how common herpes is.

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