It’s a Symptom?

For years I always thought of symptoms as signs you looked out for to know that you were coming down with a cold, or getting the flu, or perhaps strep-throat or something. It never really dawned on me that a cold sore could be a symptom for something else as well. They are called COLD sores after-all! So naturally when I was younger (teens –early 20’s) I thought they developed because of ‘catching’ a cold. And like a cold, they eventually go away, so it was just part of being human. Come to find out that ALL cold sores are caused by the Herpes Virus. What!? I’ve had cold sores since I was a kid – how can I have an STD!?!

It was a really a confusing time trying to figure all of that out and really it still kind-of is. I mean, to this day, I still can’t seem to find out why in the world this one little symptom goes by so many different names – fever blisters, sun sores, oral lesions, etc, etc. If they are truly caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 – then why, in the name of simplicity, have we (living in a modern society) not come to terms with it and just call them something like HSV sores!?!

For one, I’m pretty sure it would have stopped me from kissing so many people like I did back in the day. Who in high school would want to be known as herpes face. But that’s neither here nor there now. With the inventions of the internet and smart-phones – every kid now has access to this information and knows (or at least can easily look it up) that someone with a cold sore indeed has herpes – HSV 1 to be exact. Which brings me back to my point of view – why can’t we just call them what they are now? HSV sores.

That would make explaining this simple occurrence to our future kids (and really anyone really for that matter) much, much easier! Because to make things even more complicated, sometimes you don’t even have to have sores to have the virus. And if you have had unprotected sex you could be at risk for HSV 2 which could cause genital sores. If you have or have had these you should seek treatment – there are medications to help control outbreaks. And if you have never been tested for Herpes and are now wondering if you may or may not have it – your answers are just a click away.