When someone has contracted herpes, it can be either HSV-1 (herpes type 1) or HSV-2 (herpes type 2). The “HSV” is an acronym for “Herpes Simplex Virus.” The general difference between the two types of herpes is that type 1 refers to oral herpes and type 2 refers to genital herpes. This means the symptoms of type 1 would be cold sores forming in the area around your mouth, while the symptoms of type 2 would be cold sores forming around your genital area.
When you look at both types of herpes strains under a microscope, they look nearly identical to each other. The severity of the symptoms caused by them is also similar, despite the popular belief that HSV-2 is worse. The big difference between them is where they exist and become latent in the body. HSV-1 infects the nerve cells on the bottom of the neck while HSV-2 infects the nerve cells on the bottom of the spine. From these locations, they affect the mouth and the genitals; respectively.
It is easier to contract HSV-1 because you don’t need to have sexual intercourse to get it. Aside from having oral sex, you can contract HSV-1 from merely kissing someone else who is infected or putting something in your mouth that they touched with their saliva. For example, if you eat with a kitchen utensil they used or brush your teeth with their toothbrush, then HSV-1 could spread to your mouth area that way. As for HSV-2, it is usually obtained by having sexual intercourse with an infected person, which is why the symptoms of this virus affect the genital area.
HSV-2 is not known to spread like HSV-1. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get HSV-2 in other areas of the body. For example, if someone performs oral sex on a partner with HSV-2, that person will likely get HSV-2 in their mouth area. The same scenario can be said about HSV-1. If the person performing the oral sex has HSV-1, they could infect their partner’s genitals with HSV-1.
With that being said, HSV-1 can become HSV-2 and vice versa. It all depends on which area of your body the virus gets exposed to. The chances of obtaining symptoms from the virus are still the same. Some people with either virus will get cold sores while others won’t get them for many years. Overall, the symptoms will come and go for the rest of your life. The best thing that can be done is to control the symptoms with regular treatments.
Which is Worse?
There is a common perception that HSV-1 is not as serious as HSV-2. Since HSV-1 tends to be a mild infection, then this is true for the most part. However, if the virus were to spread away from the mouth toward another area, like the eye or the brain, then you will have a big problem. Ocular herpes caused by HSV-1 can leave you with total blindness. If it ends up in the brain and gives you herpes encephalitis, then it could cause you to die. Therefore, the symptoms of HSV-1 need to be controlled as soon as you’ve been diagnosed.
Aside from the risk of HSV-1 spreading, no virus is worse than the other. You will still get cold sores that are red and painful, regardless of which one you have. But if you care about where you get the cold sores, then you might prefer one over the other. For example, HSV-2 might feel uncomfortable and painful around your genital area but at least you can cover up the appearance of the red cold sores with clothes. People who suffer the symptoms of HSV-1 have to carry those cold sores around their mouth area. Although you could try to cover them up with makeup, the sores will still be visible to everyone in public. This could create emotional feelings of embarrassment and low self-confidence in the affected person. Consequently, this is just one more reason why HSV-1 can be deemed as worse.
Which is more common?
Statistics have shown that HSV-1 is more common than HSV-2. According to recent data, as many as 90% of adults in the United States have been exposed to HSV-1. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they all have cold sores on their mouths but it does mean their DNA has been exposed to the virus. The data also shows that 45% of adults have HSV-2, which includes 20% of men and 25% of women.
Now, why would HSV-1 be more common? The answer is simple, it is easier to contract HSV-1 from another person. Remember that you don’t need to have sex with someone else to give them HSV-1. You just need to be exposed to something that their saliva touched, like cups and toothbrushes. Even innocent children could become the victims of HSV-1 from this. And since HSV-1 is really more serious, then more precautions need to be made by an infected person to protect the people around them from getting exposed to their virus.
If you’ve had unprotected sex recently, then you’re probably wondering whether you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease. With all the different types of STDs that are out there, you could have contracted any one of them if your sexual partner was infected. The worst part is that the symptoms of STDs will not show up right away after you’ve been infected. You could literally go weeks or even months without ever knowing that you have an STD. Then, all of a sudden, there will be visible symptoms that will show up on you like rashes, redness, fever, nausea, and more. The exact amount of time it takes for these symptoms to show up is different for each STD. It simply depends on which STD you have been infected with.
People’s bodies tend to respond differently to STD infections. Aside from the type of STD you have, some people may develop symptoms after a few weeks while others may take years to see symptoms. Gonorrhea, for example, is a common STD which tends to show symptoms at different times. Most people get symptoms within 2 weeks while others have gotten them after 1 month. The same goes for genital herpes as well. As for more serious STDs like HIV, it could take as long as 3 to 6 months before you even test positive for it. Meanwhile, the only symptom you may experience is a slight fever or a headache but you probably won’t attribute that to an STD at first. That is why HIV infections usually take the longest to detect.
For STDs which take longer to verify like HIV, keep getting tested every 6 months to ensure that you’re clean. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve had protected sex with a partner either. After all, condoms are not 100% full proof and they have a chance of breaking or not being used properly. And if you ask your partner if they have an STD and they say no, don’t take their word at face value. They may either be lying or they simply aren’t aware that they’re infected.
Overall, you shouldn’t wait for symptoms of STDs to show up before you verify that you have one. The longer you wait to treat your STD, the more the disease will have already spread throughout your body. This will make it more difficult to treat and reduce its symptoms. Therefore, if you’ve had sex with someone and you’re not confident they are free of STDs, then make an appointment with your doctor and get a blood test done right away.
People are often curious, or even skeptical, of the motives and desires of those who use dating websites to meet new people, build relationships or even search for true love. This is no different for dating websites dedicated to helping people with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) meet other singles sharing the same conditions and looking to connect with others.
PostiviteSingles.com was highly interested in this same question of what people were looking for in a dating website. To discover this answer and more, the company recently conducted a survey of its one million plus registered members to better understand why they joined PositiveSingles.com and what they expected of the website and other people using the website.
To answer the question of what members were searching for, the industry leading dating website asked over 10,000 of its members to participate in a short online survey. The survey asked a variety of questions regarding what the members were most looking for in using the services of the website. With regard to their desired relationship, members were offered the following two choices, being allowed to select one of the two options or both options.
• Relationship, Marriage, Dating
Of the respondents to the PositiveSingles.com survey, only 0.8% chose sex only as the main thing they were looking for in using the site. The remaining 99.2% selected Relationship, Marriage, Dating, or Relationship, Marriage, Dating and Sex.
“The result of our member survey is very revealing, but not surprising to us,” responded Suny Smith, PositiveSingles.com spokesperson. “Most of our members tell us that they are searching for a relationship rather than just a hookup. But, since sex is always a part of any close and intimate relationship, the overwhelming majority of the members surveyed selected both sex and a relationship when responding to what they were most looking for at PositiveSingles.com. We are focused on people interested in dating and who have the goal of building serious relationships that can lead to true love and even marriage.
These results offer hope and encouragement for singles who have an STD and encounter difficulties and frustrations in having a positive dating and love life. The members at PosiviteSingles.com are clearly looking for long term relationships with compatible singles who share a common STD and are having success doing so.
Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases out there. Surprisingly, most people know very little about it or when they even have it. The most reliable way to determine if you have genital herpes or oral herpes is to have a blood test done. This test will find if there are antibodies to the herpes simplex virus 1 or the herpes simplex virus 2. From there, you can take the necessary steps to treat the disease and to reduce the symptoms.
With that being said, there are some people who don’t notice any symptoms after they’ve unknowingly contracted herpes. While most people will break out with red blisters or cold sores within 2 weeks, others may not see any visible signs of herpes for years. In the meantime, you are still able to transmit the virus to other sexual partners that you may have. Until you get tested, you won’t know that you have herpes unless you see visible symptoms of the disease. Aside from the sores and blisters on the affected area, you may also experience swollen lymph nodes, fever, tingling, and fatigue. If you get any of these symptoms on a regular basis and they don’t go away, then go to the doctor so they can determine if you have herpes or some other virus.
If you happen to notice that you have herpes soon after you’ve contracted it, you may have to wait up to 6 weeks before you can get a reliable blood test. The reason for this is that the antibodies from your immune system need time to build up in your bloodstream. That way, the blood test will discover the antibodies to the herpes virus. The last thing you would want to happen is to get a blood test right after you’ve contracted the virus and then have it come back negative because there weren’t enough antibodies discovered. This would give you the false impression that you don’t have herpes even though you really do.
If you have suspicions that you may have herpes, the first thing you should do is contact all the people that you’ve had sex with over the last year and ask them if they have herpes. Some of them may admit they do while others will not. Perhaps they don’t know that they have it or they are too proud to admit they do. It may be a bit awkward to call and ask them this question, but it is worth it because this is about your health and your life.
To order to protect our member, PositiveSingles consults with lawyer Jon Michael Probstein regarding the legal problems that STD people may meet: Are they obligated to tell their partners the STD status?
Bio of Jon Michael Probstein:
Admitted to practice in New York and the federal courts (Southern and Eastern District) as well as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Probstein is special counsel to law firms in Los Angeles and New York, as well as operating his own practice in Nassau County. In addition, he serves as a Part 137 Arbitrator on attorney/client fee disputes and as an Arbitrator in Small Claims, District Court, Nassau County. A qualified Part 36 Guardian, Attorney, etc. in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, he is also a registered attorney with the New York State Department of Labor for Unemployment Insurance claims and an accredited attorney for claims for veterans’ benefits before the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Mr. Probstein has performed pro bono work for the Volunteer Lawyers Project - Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, Inc., The Safe Center (formerly the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and the Nassau County Bar Association, where he is also a member of the Lawyers Assistance Program Committee and the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Maligno Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award.
PositiveSingles.com: Are the STD people obligated to tell their partners the STD status when dating?
Jon Michael Probstein: Certainly in NY, STD people are obligated. Under rulings in the area of personal injuries, such as negligence and intentional tort, courts have held that an affirmative legal duty to disclose exists in the relationship between parties where the defendant knew or should have known that he or she had a communicable disease. In addition, New York Public Health Law § 2307 also imposes a duty to disclose, which provides: "Any person who, knowing himself or herself to be infected with an infectious venereal disease, has sexual intercourse with another shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." This is a state matter so anyone concerned should consult with local counsel.
PositiveSingles.com: What if their partners contract the STD in case that they did not tell their partners they have STD?
Jon Michael Probstein: The responsibility can be considerable. At the moment, criminal responsibility in New York appears to be limited to a misdemeanor. In 2015, New York State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled, in an HIV case, that “without a doubt, defendant's conduct [having unprotected sex when he knew he was HIV] was reckless, selfish and reprehensible. Under our case law, though, this is not enough to make out a prima facie case of depraved indifference [a felony]”. Of course, if an STD individual engaged in this conduct with a “malevolent desire for the victim to contract the virus, or that he was utterly indifferent to the victim's fate”, a different result may be found by a court. Other states have different rules.
On the civil side, some attorneys have stated they won or received settlements up to 7 million dollars or greater. The most famous of these cases was the late Marc Christian MacGinnis, who won a multimillion-dollar settlement in 1991 from the estate of his ex-lover, actor Rock Hudson, after convincing a jury Hudson had knowingly exposed him to AIDS. Most recently, headlines have been made regarding the litigations involving recording artist Usher and allegations of failure to warn partners that he allegedly had an STD.
PositiveSingles.com: What if their partners contract the STD in case that they did tell their partners they have STD?
Jon Michael Probstein: Written partner notification documents signed and acknowledged before a notary may offer the best protection against frivolous litigation (not aware of any case law on this) but nothing can prevent someone from going to court.
PositiveSingles.com: What if you do not have an STD but your partner claims you gave it to them?
Jon Michael Probstein: In a recent New York case, the parties first met on the online dating site and had unprotected sex after the plaintiff asked the defendant whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases ("STDs"), and defendant denied that he did. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff was treated for herpes and for the next two years, the relationship continued but after the parties split, an action was commenced for damages. In fact, the defendant had medical proof that he had no STD’s and after considerable costs and legal fees, the case against him was dismissed.
There are just no guarantees in life and law.