Yet another reason to be ultra picky about whom you choose to get busy with.

Recently researchers found that people who are unknowingly infected with genital herpes still “shed” the virus ten percent of the time and can inadvertently infect their partners.

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Scientists estimate that nearly 530 million people worldwide, and nearly 1 in 6 Americans are infected with the disease. Not only is genital herpes incurable, but it can also increase a person’s risk of HIV infection.

Although so many people are infected with the disease, doctors fear that those who know their status are only a small part of the problem. The real issue? Those who are infected but are not exhibiting symptoms.

“The people who are symptomatic are really the tip of the iceberg,” Johnston, of the University of Washington in Seattle, told Reuters Health. “We are not having any impact on the epidemic by ignoring it.”

Moreover, in an interview with Reuters, Dr. Christine Johnston, a researcher who worked on the research study, said, “In the absence of symptoms people can still transmit the virus, and therefore preventive measures should be used.”

Although there is no foolproof method to prevent genital herpes other than abstinence, doctors say “condoms, antiviral drugs and letting your partner know if you’re infected have all been shown to cut the rate of transmission in half.”

So Clutchettes and Gents, protect yourself out there, and more importantly, know your status.


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