How Do Herpes Support Groups Work?

There was a time when people affected with herpes and other sexually transmitted infections found it difficult to cope up with the stigma attached with it. However, things changed significantly over the years and people have become more supportive and sympathetic towards them. Nevertheless, these individuals continue to face discrimination in many parts of the world.

Herpes support groups have emerged as a ray of hope for those looking to understand the condition and seek support from like – minded individuals from all walks of life. It has been observed that a lot of people diagnosed with herpes have no idea about how the infection can be treated or prevented from spreading. This is when the importance of support groups increase manifold.

How do these work and what should you do to make the most of them?

As the name suggests, these groups are exclusive to those infected with the herpes simplex virus. Although others can join these groups, discussions pertaining to herpes are entertained. These groups prohibit users from indulging in any form of marketing / promotion. Nevertheless, if you have any useful resources that can help them understand the condition better, you can share them.

Membership: A majority of these groups are absolutely free to join. However, there are a few that require users to pay a subscription fee. The subscription usually gives access to chat features and gives the ability to post more questions.

Features: A typical herpes support groups gives users the opportunity to communicate and connect with each other. It is essentially a platform where people from across the globe can come together and share their experiences pertaining to herpes. Users can also post success stories and give vital information about ‘herpes care’ centers. Besides, you would be able to post questions and participate in discussions initiated by others. A few support groups also allow users to get in touch with a counselor or a medical expert.

Some of these groups also help users find a life companion or make friends. Registered users would be able to create a profile and communicate with like – minded people from across the globe.

Privacy: The topic of STDs continues to be a sensitive one and websites ensure that a user’s personal identifiable information is safe. Indeed, most websites give its members the convenience of remaining anonymous.

Should you join such a group?

There is no reason why you shouldn’t join such groups. They are packed with information and users get a platform to share their personal experiences. In addition, you could also read success stories and draw inspiration from them. All you need to do is complete the registration process and wait for approval from the admin. Once this has been completed, you’d be able to post questions and participate in other discussions.

Herpes and Its Viral Consequences to Anyone

Herpes simplex can be described as a viral disease. It is caused by the popular simplex virus. There are many infections that cause this and these infections are categorized based on the part of the body that gets infected. There is also oral herpes that affects the face and the mouth. It can result in small blisters in groups that is often called as the cold sores and fever blister. It can also just cause a simple sore throat and have you down for a few days. Genital herpes is also often simply known as herpes and can have a few and minimal symptoms that can form various types of blisters. These blisters can break open and result in small ulcers.

Genital herpes

There have been lots of studies done on the subject of genital herpes in the recent past. Genital herpes is a highly contagious virus. It is spread mostly through improper and unhygienic sexual activities. This infection is also caused by the simplex virus-2 of herpes or HSV-2. The virus is also responsible for the cold sores that affect your body. Genital herpes can be treated by a few medicinal treatments. These medicines control the flow of the virus in the body and can make life easier for the infected person.

The herpes tests

There are also herpes tests that are done in order to find the HSV virus. A simple HSV infection can also cause painful sores, small sores that can look like a blister on your skin and also the tissue lining of the nose, mouth, throat and urethra. A herpes infection can cause only a single outbreak of sores but can also cause a person to have more number of outbreaks. The herpes virus is highly common in the United States of America. We say this because at least one in every six people who are aged between the years of 14 and 49 have this virus.

Herpes is spread to the untraditional form of having sex. This includes oral sex, vaginal and anal sex. Particularly with someone who already has the disease. There are fluids that re found in the herpes sore and these fluids very often carry the disease. Also the virus can easily be released through these fluids. You can also acquire herpes from an infected partner while having sex with him or her. Preventive measure must be taken while having sex.

Dating With Herpes – What You Need to Know

Why is dating with herpes so stressful? After being diagnosed with herpes, people are worried that they might transfer the virus to their partner. There is a certain kind of stigma surrounding herpes and this is what makes it difficult for people to be open about their medical condition. Fortunately, dating with herpes isn’t as burdensome as some people think.

Here is all that you need to know about herpes dating.

• Herpes is, after all a disease: Understand that you are not your disease. Herpes doesn’t define who you are. Bear in mind that any kind of dating is associated with heart breaks, drama and pain. It isn’t right to blame your medical condition for such events.

Not everyone in this world dates for sex. People date because they like each other and have an emotional attachment. When these feelings are true, being diagnosed with herpes doesn’t really matter.

• Follow precautions: Sex is a part of relationship. When you have herpes and engage in sexual activities, there are chances that the herpes simplex virus might transmit. In order to prevent this from happening, it is advised that you use a condom. In addition, using suppressants such as acyclovir are also helpful.

A research has shown that women are more vulnerable to contracting herpes from their partners compared to men. Furthermore, abstain from having sex in the event of an outbreak.

• Herpes is very common: Most people worry that their friends and prospective partners would judge them on finding out that they are infected. Although, some people might judge them, this isn’t always the case. 20 percent of the adults in the United States have herpes and there are chances that the person you are dating already has it.

• Get ready to face rejection: People with sexually transmitted diseases are often disregarded in the society. Thanks to this orthodoxy, there are chances that you might get rejected. You will meet several people while dating who are looking for sex. They are the once who will certainly reject you on discovering about herpes.

Keep in mind that a person who truly loves you will not judge you based on whether you have herpes or not.

• Don’t hide it: If you are into dating and seriously looking for a partner, it is important to confess about herpes in the initial stages of dating. It makes no sense to take the relationship ahead and later telling about your medical condition.

How Dangerous is Chlamydia?

If you’ve been diagnosed or exposed to chlamydia, you may be wondering, just how dangerous is it?

Will it keep coming back, like herpes? Can it cause brain damage, like syphilis? Is there any chance you’ll die, like with AIDS?

Most women, about 75% of those infected, have no symptoms and therefore don’t even know they’ve been infected with chlamydia. If symptoms do occur they may be confused with a urinary tract infection or vaginal yeast infection. Burning on urination or vaginal discharge are among the more common symptoms, but when the infection reaches higher into the cervix or fallopian tubes, abdominal pain may occur, along with fever, nausea, back pain, pain with intercourse, or abnormal menstrual bleeding. It’s important to see your physician if you experience these symptoms.

Because many women have no warning symptoms, and because the infection is sometimes mistaken for something else, damage may occur even before a women knows she’s infected. Up to 40% of untreated women eventually develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which may cause chronic pelvic pain, infertility, or blockage of the fallopian tubes.

Usually the damage is not life-threatening. However, if the fallopian tubes become sufficiently scarred, an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) may occur. If this isn’t detected in time, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding, which may be fatal.

Another scary fact: if you already have chlamydia and are then exposed to HIV, you’re 4-5 times as likely to become infected with HIV than if you don’t have chlamydia. STDs run in pairs. A person infected with one sexually transmitted disease is at high risk of having contracted a second as well.

Premature birth is a possible complication for pregnant women infected with chlamydia. Infected mothers may pass the disease to their babies, who may suffer from infection in their eyes or lungs, even pneumonia.

As for men, up to half of infected men don’t have symptoms and therefore can pass the disease on without even knowing it. Those who do have symptoms usually exhibit burning on urination, and so may confuse this STD with a urinary tract infection. Occasionally the infection spreads up through the urethra and bladder to the epididymis, causing pain behind the testicles, sometimes fever, and occasionally sterility.

If you have any of the above symptoms see your doctor promptly before irreversible damage sets in. If you don’t have symptoms but worry you may have been exposed, see your doctor as well. Any sexually active person (anyone having sex) should be tested yearly for chlamydia, especially those 25 years of age and younger (except for those in a long-term totally monogamous relationship who have never been at risk for contracting chlamydia). All pregnant women should be tested as well.

Antibiotic treatment is effective but may not be able to reverse scarring from a prolonged infection, so don’t put off seeing a doctor for this potentially serious infection.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.