Let’s cut straight to the chase. You should not be ashamed or embarrassed if you have genital herpes. While there is a certain stigma associated with this sexually transmitted infection, it is a fairly common disease. If more people knew just how common these types of diseases are, everyone would be more open about treating them.
Before we go any further, however, let’s dive into the disease a bit more. Genital herpes is an STI that comes from the herpes simplex virus. It is typically spread through physical contact or sexual intercourse. Some people have no signs or symptoms, which is why it can be easily spread or passed unknowingly. Others may experience painful itching and sores in and around the genitalia area.
Although there is no cure for genital herpes, treatment is readily available. You will likely be prescribed an antiviral medication which is taken via a pill. With treatment, you might have minimal or no symptoms at all. Additionally, you can lessen the chance of infecting others once you are on treatment. Keep reading to find out three ways to get the treatment you or your partner needs for this disease.
1. Doorstep Delivery and Treatment
You can order pretty much anything online these days and have it delivered to your doorstep, including medications. If ease and discretion are top priorities, then this first option may be what you need. If you’ve previously been diagnosed with herpes, you can receive genital herpes treatment at home through discreet, private packaging.
There are quite a few benefits of having your genital herpes treatment delivered. First, it makes treatment readily accessible to anyone no matter where they are located. Before, treating diseases like genital herpes meant a patient needed to live in an area close to a pharmacy. This made it harder for those in rural areas to get and receive the medications they needed. It was also harder for those without access to transportation to pick up their medications.
Another benefit of delivery is that your prescription is usually set to auto-renew, so you won’t forget to refill it. How many times have you reached for your medication only to find that you don’t have any left? Days or weeks pass before you have the chance to renew your prescription, leading to forgotten doses. We’re all busy, so not having to go refill your prescription at a pharmacy is one less thing on your plate. And we all could use that!
If there is one good thing that came out of the pandemic, it’s telemedicine. More than ever, patients are comfortable receiving care remotely. Healthcare providers and practitioners are more willing to provide remote care and able to do so securely, privately, and efficiently. Through this virtual option, healthcare is more accessible to larger diverse populations.
If you have been diagnosed with herpes before, telemedicine may be the best approach for you. You can set up an appointment with your current practitioner or find somebody new to review your previous medical history. For a first diagnosis, however, you will likely need to be seen in person. A doctor often must take samples and have them sent to a laboratory for an official genital herpes diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider or OB-GYN is likely already equipped to meet with you and discuss possible treatments via telemedicine. They may also prescribe medication for you to pick up at your local pharmacy. This is a convenient and expedient way to start the treatment that you need.
3. Local Health Departments and Nonprofit Clinics
Another way to start treatment for genital herpes is by visiting your local health department. Available at the county and municipal levels, these establishments could be a good option if you lack a primary care physician.
Planned Parenthood is a solid choice for obtaining herpes diagnosis and treatment; it has over 600 locations nationwide. One of their practitioners will advise you on your diagnosis and prescribe medication to you. They can also address any of your other sex-related questions making them a true one-stop shop for sexual health.
If you are a college student, you may consider visiting your college or university health clinic. This can be the easiest option if you are still under your parent or legal guardian’s insurance. And again, don’t be embarrassed to talk with someone from your university. These practitioners will be glad that you are taking action and advocating for your health needs.
Being diagnosed with genital herpes can be frightening at first, but that shouldn’t stop you from receiving treatment. Staying on top of your diagnosis will make you feel better both physically and mentally. You’ll also know you are doing everything you can to stay healthy and keep your partner safe, too.
Thankfully, there are various places to go and methods to use for receiving help and treatment. From at-home delivery to telemedicine to local health clinics, the power is really in your hands. It doesn’t matter where or how you receive treatment. The most important step is acknowledging your situation and starting treatment sooner rather than later.