Thursday, September 1, 2016

Got Herpes? Be Wary of Chocolate!

I met a woman (Lee) at a convention this summer who let me know about a real threat to chocolate lovers. Having herpes!

I had no idea of this connection but I looked into it and today, as unromantic, as unappetizing, as it may be, you need to be aware of this healthcare concern. Why now? September is National Consent Month. Part of CONSENT is being honest with your partner, all of your partners, all of the time.

Now it is true that you can get herpes without sexual contact but it is a very common STD, too.

Let's start with some basic herpes facts.

There are two types of herpes virus.

HSV-1 -- is the type that creates "cold sores" and "fever blisters" around your mouth. It is spread by direct contact with objects that have touched an infected person's sores or by kissing. Once in your body, it will remain in your body so children do get it from caregivers who may share utensils or personal products such as lip balm with them. Yes, you can get genital herpes if an infected person has oral sex with you!

HSV-2 -- is genital herpes and you get it from sexual contact.

Shared by Lee for your information
How does this connect to chocolate?

I noticed that none of the medical sites I consulted talked about food, pros or cons, but a lot of websites that focused on herpes did talk about food. All of these promoted some foods (high in lysine) and warned against others (acidic and high in arginine). Chocolate is one of the foods/drinks of those all these sites agree you should avoid. But what if you've loved chocolate and then you unfortunately have a partner that's doesn't tell you he/she has herpes and BAM you get? Some chocolate lovers believe that using lysine supplements could allow you to enjoy small amounts of chocolate. Not all of the time but for celebrations perhaps.

The good news is that the percentages of adults infected with HSV-2 is slowly decreasing but it varies widely by race, ethnicity, biological sex, and gender. Overall, the current rate is 17-20% of all adults.

HSV-1 is also slowly decreasing but it is much higher at around 54% for adults 14-49 years old but it varies by age, with younger people with a lower rate. However lower is still around 1/3 of all younger people.

I hope if you love chocolate you'll take these connections between chocolate and herpes to heart and tell your partner if you have been infected whether or not you have an outbreak. Then take every precaution. Not only do you want to protect your health, to protect your lover, but damnit, protect your ability to enjoy chocolate!

Online Sources Consulted:

Herpes Simplex: Healthline

Mayo Clinic

American Sexual Health Association

CDC Website

NEJM Journal Watch

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