If this scares you, it's because that's what I intended.
I do not have Herpes but I'm extremely paranoid about contracting it because of the fact that it can be transmitted by a person who's asymptomatic but the worst part is that although it's an STD, you can acquire it so easily. It's a treacherous infection.
Facts as in these are indisputable:
1. Herpes is spread by skin to skin contact and the most common types, oral and genital are caused by the same virus.
2. You can transmit Herpes I (herpes simplex I/oral herpes) without having symptoms.
3. You can transmit Herpes II (herpes simplex type II 1/genital herpes) without having symptoms.
4. You can have herpes, both oral and/or genital, for years and years and not know it.
5. A majority of americans have Herpes I and most acquired it as children or teens.
6. Genital Herpes is not limited to the genitals, it can be on the buttocks, back or elsewhere like the thigh area.
7. A person, asymptomatic or not, with oral herpes, Herpes type I can give their sexual partner genital herpes.
8. The herpes virus, even type I aka cold sores don't look the same or necessarily like what you would imagine. They can resemble pimples or minor abrasions.
9. Oral herpes aka type I can sometimes be present elsewhere on the face, cheeks for example.
10. Herpes is typically found on certain parts of the body but an infection can develop anywhere including the chest.
11. There is such a thing as Herpetic Whitlow aka hand herpes, digital herpes, finger herpes.
12. If, for example, you have genital herpes, it is possible to give yourself hand herpes if you have a minor cut on your cuticle etc. Additionally, it possible to get hand herpes from touching a cold sore/herpes I.
13. Herpes can be transmitted to the eyes and cause blindness. This herpes is called herpes keratitis.
I remember being at mass once during the SARS crisis in Toronto and the priest stopped asking people to shake hands. This should be the norm. It's too easy to contract and transmit herpes. Too many people have it and don't know it and unwittingly transmit it to others including their kids. I was so pleased when a pregnant relative was told by her ob-gyn that her relatives and friends should not be permitted to kiss the baby.
We shouldn't be shaking hands, kissing cheeks, it's not paranoia though I am paranoid. What's wrong with hello?