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Friday, October 28, 2005

Herpes support in Syracuse NY

Living with herpes? You are not alone. Come to CNYHELP, a confidential
support group for Syracuse, NY. Everyone is welcome.

CNYHELP meets on the first Thursday of the month in the Buckland
Room of the DeWitt Community Library at Shoppingtown Mall. The
Dewitt Community Library is on the lower level of Shoppingtown
Mall, in the Sears wing, near Media Play. You can access the
library from inside the mall or use the separate mall entrance
near the parking garage and take the hallway (not the escalator)
to the library. Click here to go to the library site for a map and driving directions.

The Buckland Room is the last door on the right. Just enter the library and walk towards the back and you will see the “Buckland Room” sign by the door.

CNYHELP meetings are always free and strictly confidential.
Upcoming meetings:
November 3, 7 to 8:30 pm
December 1, 7 to 8:30 pm

Please check the website or call 315.299.3517 to hear a recording about any last-minute changes to the meeting schedule.
The recording will also announce when a medical advisor or other guest
will be in attendance.

For more information:
Recorded message: 315-299-3517
or email the coordinator

Condoms lessen the rate of transmission for genital herpes but
do not provide
100% protection. Think about how much
genitalia is not covered by a condom...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It just takes ONE time

and it COULD happen to YOU!!!

The ABC’s of STI’s
Written by Sarah Millar - Staff Writer
Wednesday, 26 October 2005

People sometimes think that because they are only having sex with one person, it means they can ditch the condom. What couples have to realize is that before the condom gets ditched, it is vital that both partners get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI's).

It is important to note that when it comes to STI's, if you perform oral sex without protection, you are at just as much risk of catching an STI as you would be if you had unprotected intercourse.

Most people believe they will be able to tell when their partner has an STI. This is usually not the case. Although genital herpes (blisters on the genitals) can usually be seen, a lot of other STI's like HIV/AIDS and chlamydia cannot be seen on the outside.

In fact, chlamydia is one of the main STI's affecting people our age. One of the reasons that so many people catch it is because, more often than not, both men and women present no symptoms or signs of having the disease. In order to diagnose chlamydia, a swab must be taken from the cervix or penis.

However, chlamydia is a treatable disease and usually clears up after the infected person takes a dose of antibiotics. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility and can cause complications during pregnancy.

Another common STI is genital herpes, which are blisters or cold sores in the genital area. Symptoms for this STI vary from person to person. One person may have very mild symptoms, while another may have no symptoms at all. There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are antiviral drugs used to help speed healing during an outbreak.

Although we are no longer in the 1980s AIDS crisis. HIV/AIDS has not gone away. Millions of people still die from the disease every year and there is no cure. Although there are drugs that help prolong an infected person's life, AIDS is fatal. Symptoms of HIV are similar to flu symptoms. A blood test is performed to determine if you have HIV and you cannot be tested for the virus until at least three months after the possible infection date, as it takes HIV antibodies three to six months to appear.

Remember, in order to get an STI, your bodily fluids must come in contact with another's. This could be through unprotected intercourse or if you give unprotected oral sex. A condom is the best way to protect yourself - it doesn't spoil the mood but it helps to eliminate the chance that you could catch an STI.

Like pregnancy, it only takes one time of not using protection to catch an STI. Don't assume your partner is being honest with you. If you really love one another, then you should go and get tested together.

If you are having casual sex with different partners, make sure to use protection. After all, sex is supposed to be fun - it's definitely not worth losing your life over.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My boyfriend is worried I'll give him herpes!

This is an excellent response I found to a person who is concerned about passing herpes along to her partner.

Q: I’ve had genital herpes. I rarely get a sore nowadays, but my boyfriend is concerned that he’ll get infected. Are there certain things that could increase my likelihood of infecting him?

A: Fifteen to 20 percent of the population is infected with herpes simplex type 2, the virus which most frequently causes genital herpes. (On occasion, herpes simplex type 1, which causes oral cold sores, can be the source for a sore in the genital area.) But most of these individuals don’t have a clue that they are infected or think that “no sore” means “not infectious” and, as a result, unknowingly transmit it to a partner.

We can now tell if a person has had herpes by checking his or her blood for type-2 herpes antibodies, and this test has allowed us to discover just how many individuals do indeed carry the virus.

With nearly 20 percent of the population infected, reducing the risk of transmission is crucial, says Dr. Judith Reichman. Here’s how to stay safe

Dr. Reichman’s Bottom Line: You are more likely to shed the herpes virus when you’re on the pill or have a vaginal infection — and certainly when you have an open lesion — but the fact is you can shed the virus at any time. If you want to do everything possible to prevent the infection of your partner, use condoms and ask your doctor to prescribe a daily antiviral medication.

The full response and source can be found here:

Monday, October 17, 2005

Herpes Awareness - High Priority???

AIDS Education Takes Precedent. Full article here

Because this does happen, makes for a good reason for people like me to be
about herpes. It's important for others to realize that being
aware is so important. It's simply a morally correct thing to know about
and be aware about. That's what has been wrong with society over the last
20 years or so is that because there are so many other diseases which are
"after all is said and done" life threatening and herpes is so prevalent,
but the bottom line is, just because it's prevelent, doesn't mean we shouldn't
be talking about and educating the youth as well as adults. It just amazes
me how ignorant society is, but on the other hand, I also understand that
if you're not directly impacted about it, you don't worry about it. You know
"it won't happen to me" LOLOL I laugh now, after having gone through alot
of emotional baggage, concerns and fears. I've gotten grounded again and to
me it's not a big deal. It is but it isn't, ya know.

Read the entire article here:


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Western Blot

has a link to the University of Washington lab which has information in regard to this herpes test.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Wear OB Gear

Want a T-shirt to help spread herpes awareness?

Check out this link.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Stop Think Decide

So for teens, help to spread awareness, I believe there is even a pledge in there. PTA organizations might want to connect with the gal who runs this site: Stop, Think and Decide. It is still being constructed, but there is already a ton of great information on here. I'm sure the owner would love feedback if you find something of interest to you. I've done alot of research on herpes specifically, know a few people who have it, have had MANY conversations, so I know how it affects them. It's more an emotional issue, because of the stigmatism which society has placed. So that's why I can't stress enough that it is possible to live a happy and healthy life, even if you get herpes. BTW, because Oral sex is such a huge thing amongst kids. I read someplace recently, that the numbers/percentages of people contracting HSV1 (oral herpes) and transmitting it to the genital area have risen tremendously. I believe I read that, today it is the most common form of herpes is oral transferred genitally.

Ok....off of my soapbox. Any questions or comments, I'll be happy to get the info for you. If you have herpes, it's not the end of the world. If you need to chat with someone about this, I can hook you up. You don't have to feel alone. If I had to choose an STD, I would certainly choose HSV (herpes) over AIDS or incurable cancer's ANYDAY. How about you? Have a great day everyone.


Can I still have sex?

Even if a person does have or gets herpes, they can live a healthy sexual life with this virus. They just have to know their body and use precautions to protect a partner. Sadly, there is no "guarantee" that a person won't get it, so casual sex (I didn't say casual dating) is not a good idea for someone who lives with this virus. It is not a death sentence, not the end of the world, however society has placed a stigmatism on it that it is "bad" "dirty" "only sluts get it".....NONE of which are true!! It can happen to anyone!! On the other hand, HIV does scare the heck out of me. Both HIV and the herpes virus HSV1 (oral herpes) and HSV2 (genital herpes).

What is shedding?

shedding: an excerpt from a website: "This is called asymptomatic or subclinical shedding of the virus; giving off the virus from the body with no apparent symptoms. The more sensitive our virus detection methods become, the more subclinical viral shedding we can identify. The exact frequency of subclinical shedding is not known. We do know that up to 70% of new cases of herpes are transmitted from someone showing no apparent symptoms at the time they infected their partner. Research has shown that subclinical shedding occurs more frequently during the first year of having herpes than it does subsequently. This information may present difficult emotional concerns about sexuality, and,unfortunately, there are no guarantees for fail-safe methods of dealing with this thorny issue. It is probably true that many people who have herpes do have symptomatic episodes when they give off virus but do not recognize them as herpes symptoms.

Check here for a great online herpes handbook to read for more valuable information.

I have a coldsore. Is that herpes?

Did you know that even if for instance, a person has genital or even oral herpes (that would be cold sores folks, probably lots of us carry that "virus", but prefer to call it a "coldsore", well it's not "just" a coldsore. IT IS ORAL HERPES and you can transmit it to another person, orally as well as genitally). Most herpes outbreaks DO NOT look like those ones on the web. Most times, if a person gets an outbreak of any amount of severity, it's usually their "first outbreak" which is sorta God's way of sayin' "Hello!!, you now have to really be a responsible sexual partner. You have to "tell" and telling another person about something so personal can be very difficult for many". I've even read where some people have committed suicide over this because they couldn't deal with it emotionally. That is so sad and soooooo unnecessary. They could deal with outbreaks etc, but they feel like "NO ONE will ever love them" which is soooooooo untrue. Some people choose meds (you've probably seen the Valtrex commercials) to "suppress" outbreaks and to minimize shedding.

Monday, October 03, 2005

What does herpes look like?

What does herpes look like? I want to see a picture of herpes. Does herpes really look this bad? There are tons of pictures on google images, just type in herpes.

Let's talk about STD's. Some of the pictures are very descriptive, but I'd like to add, that not every picture you see truly depicts the "average" person and how herpes reacts on a person's body.