Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects people as young as 12. It is a common disease that is mostly transmitted through sexual intercourse, although other forms of direct contact can also lead to transmission. Despite genital herpes being common, more than half of those infected do not know about it, because they may not display any symptoms. In fact, some cases of genital herpes are diagnosed when a person visits a doctor for other medical reasons.
Another problem is that most people are not well-educated about genital herpes. There are not enough programs that teach or educate people about genital herpes.
Genital herpes can be prevented by abstaining from sexual activities, using latex condoms, avoiding sex with a person who has genital herpes during an outbreak and using antiviral medications. Of these, abstinence provides the most protection.
Sex education can be carried out by parents, schools and community centers. Sex education is necessary in preventing genital herpes because:
- Sex education has been shown to not only delay sexual activities but reduce the number of STDs contracted by teenagers in the area. Nowadays, children as young as 12 are engaging in sexual activities and are, therefore, exposed to a vast amount of STDs, including genital herpes.
- Sex education ensures that the youth are empowered with knowledge about diseases that may be transmitted sexually, including genital herpes. This includes ways of transmission and prevention of genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV/AIDS.
- The number of cases of genital herpes is rising fast to due lack of sex education on this disease. This is partly due to the fact that people who have it are not diagnosed and thus transmit it to their sexual partners without even knowing they had it in the first place.
- Sex education helps promote sexual health, especially among the youth. Practicing safe sex, such as limiting the number of sex partners to only one, can greatly reduce transmission of genital herpes.
- Sexual education teaches people preventive measures of genital herpes, such as using condoms. Although condoms do not provide total protection from genital herpes and other STDs, they may still provide more than 80 percent protection if used correctly. Sex education ensures that people are taught the proper way to use condoms.
Therefore, sex education should be promoted not only to prevent unplanned or teen pregnancies but also because it can help reduce the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, including genital herpes. With each year, there are more and more new cases of genital herpes. Sex education also helps those who are newly diagnosed to reduce the risks of transmitting it to others, especially sex partners. Genital herpes, like most diseases that are transmitted sexually, carries a lot of social stigma. So sex education will also provide support for those who are newly diagnosed and help them to learn ways of managing symptoms, especially during an outbreak.