With all the controversy that recently engulfed singer, American singer, Usher Raymond’s health and his health status, I think it’s important that we talk about it all for a minute.
We should enlighten ourselves so we know better. In case you didn’t know before now, the singer was accused by countless women of exposing them to genital herpes. One even claimed he settled her with over a million dollars, and although the row seems over, we should still talk about it.
IT CAN BE EASILY TRANSFERRED FROM ONE TO ANOTHER
In developing countries, genital herpes can double a person’s risk of contracting HIV if one is exposed to it, although that’s not really the case for already developed countries.
And although it’s rare, herpes can be transmitted from mothers to babies as they travel through the birth canal. Even less frequently, infants can pick up a herpes infection from skin-to-skin or mouth-to-skin contact with another person. These are serious concerns, because newborns can develop dangerous or even fatal complications when infected with the herpes virus.
SYMPTOMS VARY, DEPENDING ON HOST
Symptoms of the disease manifest differently in people. Some people won’t have their first herpes outbreak for months or years after transmission, making it difficult to trace. However, for others, symptoms can appear as early as six days after infection, and can include pain and blisters in the genital area, pain with urination, and fever, chills, headache, and lymph-node swelling. There have also been cases of urethral discharge.
USE CONDOMS AND ANTIVIRAL DRUGS TO REDUCE RISKS
Using a condom can decrease the risk of spreading or acquiring genital herpes, although it’s not 100% effective. And this is because the virus can be on parts of the genital area that are still exposed. For people who know they have an infection, taking daily antiviral medication can also cut the risk of spreading it to partners.
IT IS VERY COMMON AND HIDDEN
Genital herpes is caused by two viruses, herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and type 2. HSV-1 also causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth, but the disease trends have changed over time and now they can both cause genital sores.
When it comes to STIs, herpes is one of the most notorious. But in most cases, genital herpes is a manageable infection without long-term physical health consequences. It’s also surprisingly common. According to research, about one in six adults have HSV-2—and even more have HSV-1—though most people don’t realise this.
THE DISEASE IS INCURABLE, BUT CAN BE MANAGED
There’s no cure for herpes, but antiviral drugs can reduce the intensity and duration of symptoms, and—if taken daily—can also reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
Vaccines for herpes are also being investigated, and preliminary study results have suggested that vaccination may be an effective way to prevent infection in young girls. It may be years, however, before any are commercially available.