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Genital Herpes Prevention & Treatment

Herpes is a common contagious viral infection. It causes oral herpes – cold sores or fever blisters, and genital herpes – genital sores or sores usually below the waist. Herpes simplex is easily transmitted by direct contact with a lesion or the body fluid of an infected person. It often is linked to HIV disease treatment, and people usually search the ways to prevent HIV.

Although the signs and symptoms vary widely, normally blisters will appear around the genitals or rectum, break, and eventually heal on their own in two to four weeks. Additional outbreaks will occur over time, more often when the affected person is under stress, and is usually less severe and will clear up faster than the original outbreak. Eventually the frequency of the outbreaks will diminish.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections have afflicted mankind throughout most of recorded history. The earliest references date back to the 5th century B.C. Genital HSV infections were first described in detail in the 18th century. Herpes has not always been treated as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because it was not considered serious enough. The herpes simplex virus requires a moist environment for survival. There is no known animal carrier; human-to-human spread is the only known mode of transmission.

Herpes Simplex Type 1 (HSV-1) is the virus usually responsible for oral herpes or cold sores. If you receive unprotected oral sex from someone who has (HSV-1) cold sores, you can get genital herpes, or HSV-1 on your genitals.

Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV-2) or genital herpes is usually below the waist, but if you perform oral sex on someone who has HSV-2 genital sores, you can get HSV-2 on your face and mouth area. It is a lifelong and incurable infection that can cause recurrent and painful genital sores and can make those infected with the virus more likely to acquire HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can be fatal for babies that are infected. Although there is no cure, there are anti-viral drugs available which reduce the symptoms and decrease the risk of transmitting the virus.

HSV can also infect other parts of the body. Some other areas could be the eyes and the brain. Herpes Encephalitis is herpes in the brain. Very rare, and only affecting 2 per million, encephalitis is very dangerous and can cause a sore throat, headache, fever, vomiting, coma, and even death if left untreated.

Herpes may play a role in the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection, and it can make HIV-infected individuals more infectious. For those very reasons, a herpes patient should try to keep the herpes virus under control at all times. Once you get herpes rash, please don’t afraid and get more information because that the better informed you are about herpes, the easier it will be to manage. Take care of the affected skin area and keep the area dry and clean during outbreaks to help healing. Prevent self-infection to other areas of your body and wash your hands with soap and water if you touch a sore.  Avoid physical contact with the area from the time of the first symptoms (tingling, itching, burning) until all sores are completely healed, not just scabbed-over. Also be aware of possible shedding or “asymptomatic transmission”, even after the sores have healed.

Posted on May 5, 2023