Safe Sex and Herpes

May 27, 2011

In addition to my work with disruptive professionals, consulting to workplaces, etc, I also do psychotherapy with adults, older adolescents and seniors.  Many of my patients are dealing with relationship problems – – breakups, cheating, separation or just adjusting to being single.  When people are thrust “out there” in the dating world (especially if they have been in a committed relationship for years) have to refamiliarize themselves with “safe sex” practice.  Since the late 1980’s/early 1990’s most of what sexually active people are concerned about when they contemplate safe sex is avoiding HIV.  However recent studies have shown that Herpes is a far more prevalent sexually transmitted infection than we ever expected (apparently STDs are now referred to as STIs).  Last month, a very eye-opening article was published in JAMA; it essentially reported that many people have Herpes but do not know it because they don’t have symptoms, and that Herpes is transmittable even when there is not an active outbreak.  What this means is that sexually active people who are not practicing safe sex may unknowingly be contracting and/or spreading Herpes (and other STIs, of course).

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