Herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease that affects millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, statistics can reveal that more than 40 million people are diagnosed positive of this disease, although a little over 10 percent of them are aware of this malady. One of the reasons why herpes is not among the concerns of people is because it is a relatively obscure condition. With the advent of the 21st century, however, and the increase in the rate of its victims, herpes have eventually become the center of scientific and medical research. This research attempts to provide a concise and comprehensive overview of the occurrence of herpes, its causes and symptoms, as well as treatment and prevention. Furthermore, this research aims to spread the awareness that preventing herpes is always better than finding ways to eliminate it from the system.
Keywords: herpes, sexually transmitted disease
Herpes is one of the most dreaded sexually infectious diseases that continues to afflict millions of people around the world. Despite causing misery to more than 45 million people in the U.S. alone, little is still known about this malady. In fact, 90 percent of those who have herpes do not know that they actually have it. This is the reason why millions more are at risk because of their failure to get protected while having sexual contact. This research attempts to provide all the necessary information—from facts and data to symptoms and treatments—which, in one way or another, will prove helpful in spreading awareness and in making prevention the banner towards a herpes-free life. Symptoms
Herpes is one of the numerous sexual diseases that are caused by viruses. Aside from herpes, an individual who goes to have sex unprotected is also susceptible to acquiring genital warts, hepatitis, or worst, human immunodeficiency virus (HTD), which could worsen to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 16 percent of individuals aged 14 to 50 are diagnosed with Herpes Simplex Virus-2 (HSV-2) infection, although Wald (2006) posits that cases of Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSAV-1) infections have risen throughout the world. More women are prone to getting infected with herpes than men. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention puts that almost 21 percent of the female population in the U.S. are infected with herpes, compared to only 12 percent of the male population, aged 14-50 years old. Transmitting the disease from female to male is more prevalent than male-to-female cases. Furthermore, almost 90 percent of America's adult population have oral herpes. Thirty-five percent of those diagnosed with herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases age between 18 and 25 years. The good news is, the rate of Americans infected with HSV-2 all in all has slipped from 21.0% in the late 80s to mid-90s to 17.0% in in the mid-2000s. The rate HSV-2 victims, however, has changed little since 2005.
Figure 1. Herpes is the leading sexually transmitted disease in the US with about 1 million cases every year.
Figure 2. In 2006, more than 350,000 herpes patients paid initial visits to physicians. The figure dropped to a little less than 250,000 in 2010.
Figure 3. Individuals with oral herpes manifest signs of blisters and cold sores.
Figure 4. Genital herpes for women shows symptoms of small, painful blisters that usually take up to 20 days to heal.
Figure 6. According to Leone (2004), only 1 out of 10 patients knew that they have herpes; the remaining 9 are completely unaware of their condition. Diagnosis
Saulmon (2006) categorizes herpes viruses into two: the herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2). These two viruses cause confusion since they seem very...
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