OK. It looks sort of pretty in this picture but not so much in this or this.
Recent research has shown that even symptom-free people without a known case of herpes to their name can be carrying and transmitting the virus. So even a person who looks like this:
can actually be spreading herpes with kissing or oral sex. This comes from a recent study published in the august journal JAMA.
"Most people, when they shed, do not have any symptoms," study co-author Dr. Christine Johnston, of the University of Washington-Seattle, said. "The people who are symptomatic are really the tip of the iceberg." Aparently about one in six American adults have HSV-2, the most common type of Herpes virus which can affect oral and genital areas.
Johnston and colleagues evaluated herpes simplex virus type 2 shedding in a group of 498 HSV-2 seropositive people. About one in six never had symptoms of their infection. All participants obtained daily self-collected swabs of genital secretions for at least 30 days, regardless of whether they had herpes blisters or not.
Using condoms, taking antiviral drugs, and disclosing the infection to sex partners all have been shown to help cut the transmission rate in half, said Johnston. This study is certain to be quoted all over the media and should raise concerns and awareness among young teens, their parents and health care providers and teachers. In the absence of a vaccine or a more perfect solution, we need to be cautious and teach our kids about the risks and responsibilities of intimacy. Oral sex might not transmit HIV or get you pregnant but WOW can it leave a lasting memento.