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Love Safely and Love Responsibly this Valentine's Day

14th February 2005 - Valentine's Day is an internationally recognised day for romance and love. It's the day to tell your special person what they mean to you.

Part of a loving relationship for many involves intimate, sexual contact and being close to loved ones. Enjoy the romance but "Love safely and love responsibly" is the message from the International Herpes Alliance (IHA).

The IHA works to raise awareness of one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), genital herpes. The organisation also aims to provide accurate and accessible information about the condition and its management.

"Being intimate with our partners and demonstrating our love is important, but we must be aware that there are potential risks involved, especially with new or casual partners." explained Linda Alexander, Chair of the International Herpes Alliance.

The incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is high and rising and according to the World Health Organisation, millions of new cases are diagnosed each year. It is estimated that around 107 million people in the world are infected with the herpes virus. Many people with genital herpes do not know they are infected and can pass the virus onto others.

Advice, information and treatments are available to help people with genital herpes manage their condition and limit the risks of spreading the infection to partners. Anyone who suspects they have herpes should consult their doctor or visit a clinic for expert advice.

Herpes Quick Facts:

  • Up to 1 in 5 has the virus responsible for genital herpes
  • Many people experience no apparent symptoms, but others may experience recurring episodes
  • 80% of people with the virus are unaware they have it, but can still pass it on
  • Anybody with genital herpes, whether they have symptoms or not, may shed the virus from time to time
  • Over 50% of people are infected from a partner with no history of ever having herpes
  • Oral cold sores and genital herpes are both caused by the herpes simplex virus and can be transmitted by oral-to-oral, oral-to-genital or genital-to-genital contact
  • Effective treatments are available to help control symptoms if genital herpes is a problem

If you would like more information visit the International Herpes Alliance website on www.herpesalliance.org which also has listings of national support groups and helplines.



 
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