Fact or Fiction: Herpes

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

When you think 'herpes,' you probably conjure up visions of cold sores or (gulp) genital blisters. And, yes, oral and genital herpes are the most common types. Test your knowledge of herpes with this quiz.

There's a cure for herpes.

There is no cure for herpes. You can ease your symptoms, but the virus will always live in your cells once you have it.

There are 10 types of herpes virus.

There are eight types -- their official names include a number, and most have a common name, too.

Most herpes viruses are passed through fluids.

Yes, most kinds of herpes are transmitted through fluids, like mucus, semen and saliva.

Because you can get herpes through saliva, don't share utensils with someone who has herpes.

Nope, don't share that spoon -- you can indeed get herpes from a utensil.

The most common types of herpes are herpes simplex virus 1 (which generally infects the genitals) and HSV-2 (which targets the mouth).

HSV-1 is oral herpes and HSV-2 is genital herpes.

Most people acquire HSV-1 during their teenage years.

Nope, it's even earlier. Most people acquire herpes as children.

You could very well have herpes and not know it.

Many people who have herpes have no idea because their symptoms have never flared up.

Sixty percent of American adults have the oral herpes virus.

Yes, about 60 percent of American adults have HSV-1, or oral herpes.

Fifty percent of American adults have genital herpes.

Nope, about 20 percent carry the HSV-2 virus.

Only about 10 percent of people infected with oral herpes actually get cold sores.

Experts say around 20 to 40 percent of infected people get cold sores.

Women with genital herpes can avoid passing HSV-2 on to their newborns by delivering via C-section if they have an outbreak.

The only way you can pass genital herpes to your newborn is if you have a vaginal delivery during an outbreak. So a C-section would be safe.

If you have oral herpes, the infection lies in a cluster of nerve cells behind your nose.

The HSV-1 infection lives near your ear, in the trigeminal ganglion.

There are ointments that can help with cold-sore pain, but none of them has been shown to make the sores go away faster.

Abreva is the only cold-sore treatment that has been shown to heal sores.

Research has shown an association between herpes simplex viruses and Alzheimer's disease.

A definitive link hasn't been proven, but studies have associated HSV with Alzheimer's

Oral-to-genital contact is more likely to give you oral herpes on the genitals than genital herpes on the mouth.

OK, perhaps that was a little confusing. Long story short, you're more likely to get oral herpes on your genitals than the other way around.

Chicken pox is caused by a herpes virus.

Chicken pox and shingles are caused by the varicella zoster virus, otherwise known as human herpes virus 3 (HHV-3).

Human herpes virus 4 is also known as the Tay-Sachs virus.

HHV-4 is better known as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It causes between 35 and 50 percent of mononucleosis cases in adolescents and young adults.

If you're pregnant and acquire the cytomegalovirus (human herpes virus 5), you'll probably pass it on to your baby.

The scary-sounding cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common congenital virus -- but it's not definite that your baby will get it. That happens with about 40 percent of women who acquire it during pregnancy.

Just about every child in America will be infected with human herpes virus 6 by the time they turn 5.

Almost everyone gets HHV-6 by the time they're 2. It usually presents as a rash called roseola, but most people don't have any symptoms.

Human herpes virus 8, or Kaposi's sarcoma, is linked to kidney disease.

Kaposi's sarcoma is a type of cancer associated with HHV-8. If HIV infection weakens the immune system, it allows HHV-8 to manifest itself.

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