Herpes: Even if you don't see it, it's there
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One of the problems that make it so difficult to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is the fact that many of these infections do not have visible symptoms. According to The Mayo Clinic, it's important to visit the doctor for regular STD screenings, since a person can still transmit an infection to his or her sexual partners, even when not exhibiting any signs.
Recently, the Wisconsin State Journal spoke to Jacqueline Gerhart, M.D., about herpes, an infection that can stay dormant in the body for many years.
"Many people who are infected with the herpes virus do not have symptoms. When a person does develop skin lesions, it is called an 'outbreak.' Most people will get their first outbreak about two weeks after contact with a person with herpes, and the symptoms will last for about two to three weeks," said Gerhart, quoted by the news source.
The doctor said that symptoms include itching, burning or pain in the genital area. A few days after a person experiences these symptoms, they may find small red sores on their genitals. It is possible to spread herpes at any time, even if a person is not experiencing an outbreak. This is why it's important for people with this condition to practice safer sex, to reduce their risk of transmitting the infection on to a partner.
Gerhard added that it's important that people with herpes or any other STD communicate openly with their sexual partners. While using condoms can lower a person's chances of spreading STDs, they cannot provide a 100 percent guarantee, which is why it's important to warn individuals of the risk.
The physician concluded by saying that anyone in the state who is concerned that they may have herpes should visit an STD testing center in Wisconsin to get screened for the infection.
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