Monday, February 26, 2024

Can Herpes Show Up Years Later

This Virus May Be Super

It Might Be Good to Have Herpes | Trained Immunity

Herpes is common. Really common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about one in six adults has genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection caused by herpes simplex virus.* . While it may be super-common, there are still a lot of myths out there about ithere are five I hear a lot.

Preventing The Spread Of Herpes

Even when you do not have sores, you can pass the virus to someone during sexual or other close contact. To protect others:

  • Let any sexual partner know that you have herpes before having sex. Allow them to decide what to do.
  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms, and avoid sex during symptomatic outbreaks.
  • Do not kiss or have oral sex when you have a sore on the lips or inside the mouth.
  • Do not share your towels, toothbrush, or lipstick. Make sure dishes and utensils you use are washed well with detergent before others use them.
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after touching a sore.
  • Consider using daily antiviral medicine to limit viral shedding and reduce the risk of passing the virus to your partner.
  • You may also want to consider getting your partner tested even if they have never had an outbreak. If you both have the herpes virus, there is no risk for transmission.

How Can I Prevent Genital Herpes

If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from the herpes virus and other STIs:

  • Be monogamous with one sexual partner or limit your number of partners.
  • Get tested for STIs and complete any needed treatment.
  • Tell your sexual partners if you have genital herpes so they can get tested.
  • Use condoms, including dental dams during oral sex.
  • Wash your hands often if you have an outbreak or are around someone with symptoms.
  • If your sexual partner has genital herpes, these actions can lower your risk of getting the virus:
  • Dont have sex when your partner has active symptoms.
  • Make sure your partner takes antiviral medication as prescribed.
  • Wait to have sex until scabs fall off.

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Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex

There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.

What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?

For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.

Herpes infection doesnt usually pose a serious health risk. The risk of a health complication due to herpes is higher in infants and if you have HIV/AIDS, cancer or an organ transplant.

Can Herpes Lay Dormant For Years

Confused, iv

4.3/5Herpes can lay dormantyears

Similarly, how long can herpes dormant?

Herpes dormancy periodThe average is two to four outbreaks a year, but somepeople can go years without an outbreak. Once a person hascontracted HSV, they can transmit the virus evenduring dormant periods when there are no visible sores orother symptoms. The risk of transmitting the virus when itsdormant is less.

Similarly, can herpes show up years later? A person may show symptoms within days aftercontracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, oryears. Some people may have a severe outbreak within daysafter contracting the virus while others may have a first outbreakso mild that they do not notice it.

Likewise, can herpes be dormant for 30 years?

Genital herpes is caused by the herpessimplex virus . Sexual contact is the primary way thevirus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus canlie dormant in the body and can reactivate severaltimes a year.

Is it possible to have herpes and never have an outbreak?

When it does, it is often only once. Then, the personnever has another outbreak even though they stillhave the herpes infection. Their sex partners dontget this infection because HSV-1 infections arealready so common. Some people, however, get genitalherpes outbreaks, often several times eachyear.

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What’s Involved In Herpes Testing

If there are blisters or sores, a healthcare provider may gently swab the area to take a fluid sample and test it. If there are no sores, but you are concerned you may have been exposed, a blood test may done. Herpes tests are not normally recommended unless you have symptoms.

Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy

You may be offered antiviral treatment:

  • to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
  • from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
  • from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy

Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.

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Genital Herpes Hiv And Sexual Health

Genital herpes is one of the most common co-infections for people living with HIV and can be a more serious condition if youre HIV positive meaning that outbreaks may last longer and blisters can be more severe. If youre having recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes, you should have an HIV test, as this may be a sign of a weakened immune system caused by HIV.

Having an STI such as genital herpes can increase your risk of getting and passing on HIV, as the blisters and sores provide an easy way for HIV to get into your body and cause an infection. People living with HIV who arent on treatment or who have a lower CD4 count are especially vulnerable to other infections, like herpes.

If youre taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV, its important to discuss with your doctor how treatment for herpes may interact with your HIV drugs.

Treatment The First Time You Have Genital Herpes

Understanding Genital Herpes

You may be prescribed:

  • antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
  • cream for the pain

If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you go to a sexual health clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause.

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How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed

HSV nucleic acid amplification tests are the most sensitive and highly specific tests available for diagnosing herpes. However, in some settings viral culture is the only test available. The sensitivity of viral culture can be low, especially among people who have recurrent or healing lesions. Because viral shedding is intermittent, it is possible for someone to have a genital herpes infection even though it was not detected by NAAT or culture. 11

Type-specific virologic tests can be used for diagnosing genital herpes when a person has recurrent symptoms or lesion without a confirmatory NAAT, culture result, or has a partner with genital herpes. Both virologic tests and type-specific serologic tests should be available in clinical settings serving patients with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections. 11

Given performance limitations with commercially available type-specific serologic tests , a confirmatory test with a second method should be performed before test interpretation. If confirmatory tests are unavailable, patients should be counseled about the limitations of available testing before serologic testing. Healthcare providers should also be aware that false-positive results occur. In instances of suspected recent acquisition, serologic testing within 12 weeks after acquisition may be associated with false negative test results. 11

Providers are strongly encouraged to look at CDCs STI Treatment Guidelines for further diagnostic considerations.

How Soon After Sex Can Std Symptoms Start

The answer is more complicated than you think

Youre not proud of it, but you had unprotected sex and now youre worried if the escapade may come with consequences. Youre not the first guy to wonder how soon symptoms might show up if your worst fears are realized and you picked up a sexually transmitted infection .

But first: Understand that just because you dont have symptomsimmediately or everdoesnt mean youre necessarily in the clear.

The most important thing to highlight is that the majority of STDsbe it gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpestend to be asymptomatic, meaning they dont cause symptoms, says Khalil Ghanem, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The most important thing to highlight is that the majority of STDs tend to be asymptomatic.

Ghanem says 90 percent of people with gonorrhea and chlamydia will not have symptoms, while the same is true of 70 percent of those with herpes.

But even if your STD is asymptomatic, you can still infect your partner. You could also be at greater risk for serious complicationseverything from arthritis to cancerif your STD goes untreated. The only way to be sure youre STD free after an unprotected sexual encounter is to be screened, Ghanem says.

Now that were clear on that, lets get back to your original question. How soon would symptoms show up? For most STDs, usually sometime between 3 days and 10 days after exposure, Ghanem says.

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Ruling Out Conditions That Resemble Oral Herpes

Canker Sores

Simple canker sores are often confused with the cold sores of HSV-1. Canker sores frequently crop up singly or in groups on the inside of the mouth, or on or underneath the tongue. Their cause is unknown, and they are common in perfectly healthy people. They are usually white or grayish crater-like ulcers with a sharp edge and a red rim. They usually heal within 2 weeks without treatment.

This aphthous ulcer is located in front of and just below the bottom teeth.

Thrush

Oral candidiasis is a yeast infection that causes a whitish overgrowth in the mouth. It is most common in infants, but can appear in people of all ages, particularly people taking antibiotics or those with impaired immune systems.

Other conditions that may be confused with oral herpes include herpangina , sore throat caused by strep or other bacteria, and infectious mononucleosis.

How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Herpes Simplex

Confused, iv

Preventing HSV-1

You can reduce your risk of contracting HSV-1 by avoiding physical contact with someone who has a cold sore. People can still spread HSV-1 when cold sores arent present, but its less likely.

If someone has an active HSV-1 infection, avoid:

  • Sharing utensils, cups, lip balms or other personal care products.
  • Touching the skin near their mouth.

Preventing HSV-2

If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from the herpes virus and other STIs:

  • Be monogamous with one sexual partner or limit your number of partners.
  • Get tested for STIs and complete any prescribed treatment.
  • Tell your sexual partners if you have genital herpes so they can get tested.
  • Use condoms during intercourse and dental dams during oral sex.

Wash your hands often if you have an outbreak or are around someone with symptoms.

If your sexual partner has genital herpes, these actions can lower your risk of getting the virus:

  • Dont have sex when your partner has active symptoms. Condoms may not cover all sores, so you may still get the virus.
  • Make sure your partner takes antiviral medication as prescribed.
  • Wait to have sex until scabs fall off active lesions.

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How To Get Rid Of Herpes The Conventional Way

For most people with herpes, the virus typically represents nothing more than an inconvenience however, the real risk is for immuno-compromised patients who cant easily manage infections. In these patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS, herpes simplex infection is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

As of 2017, there is not currently a herpes vaccine available to prevent HSV-1 or HSV-2.

Doctors sometimes prescribe medications to help keep the herpes virus suppressed or to speed up healing of cold sores by reducing bacteria that can cause infections. Some medications that are now used to control herpes include:

  • Nucleoside analogues and antiviral medications
  • Creams/ointment to help lower pain and inflammation near the site of sores
  • Over-the-counter painkillers to reduce aches, tenderness or fever

However, its important to understand that even with early detection and prescription medications, either form of the herpes virus cannot be totally cured so transmission is always still possible. Medications for viruses dont always work long term and are not a cure-all.

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Transmissible Even When Dormant

It’s possible to transmit herpes to another person whether you experience an outbreak or not.

Transmission with no symptoms is due to asymptomatic viral shedding. For example, research has found that in people with HSV-1, the virus can be reactivated in the body and allow for transmission to others without any lesions present. HSV-2 also can be transmitted without symptoms present.

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What Else Should I Know

Genital herpes is a lifelong condition, but there are ways to manage it. If you have genital herpes:

  • Take medicines to stop outbreaks or make them less frequent and less severe.
  • Help reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to others by taking medicines, always using a condom during sex, and avoiding sex during outbreaks.

Can You Have Herpes And Not Know It

Why Herpes Is the Most Talented Virus Ever

Yes, it is possible to have herpes and not know it.

Some people may have an asymptomatic infection, which means they do not experience any symptoms. Others have symptoms that are mild, go unnoticed, or mistaken for another skin issue. Because of this, they’re less likely to seek out a diagnosis to confirm herpes.

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How Soon Can You Be Tested

The incubation period for herpes is 2 to 12 days, which means that the best time to get tested for the herpes virus if you havent had an initial outbreak is after 12 days. If youre worried that youve been exposed to herpes but have not yet been diagnosed, here are some steps you can take:

  • If youre currently sexually active, stop all sexual activity until you can receive a formal diagnosis.
  • Reach out to your doctor and schedule an appointment for once the incubation period is up.
  • If youre having an outbreak, you dont have to wait to get tested. Its possible to receive a diagnosis based on the lesions.

How Physicians Can Bust Myths About Herpes

There are common misconceptions patients have about the disease that physicians can address

Of all the sexually transmitted infections , Herpes simplex virus-2 may be one of the most misunderstood, according to Beth Oller, MD, a family physician who specializes in womens health and obstetrical care in Stockton, *KS.

She feels its important that physicians understand some of the common misperceptions that patients have about herpes in order to help them get the best care.

One of the biggest about herpes is that patients had to have gotten it from their current partner. Actually, herpes can activate years after you initially came into contact with it, Oller says.

This can lead to confusion and frustration between partners that may be unnecessary, Oller says. I have a patient with a severe primary herpes outbreak who has been married for seven years. I dont think her husband is cheating on her. She could have brought it into the relationship from a prior boyfriend.

Herpes can lay dormant for decades, Oller says, though that is less common. Stress and lowered immunity can cause the virus to activate suddenly. More commonly, people get their primary outbreak within two to twelve days after exposure. That first exposure can last quite some time, she warns, from two to four weeks. Later outbreaks tend to be less severe.

As with all STIs, the best defense against them is to always use a condom.

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Where Does The Herpes Virus Live In The Body

The herpes simplex viruses are latent, meaning they can live in the body without causing symptoms. After the initial infection, the virus gets into the nerve roots and spreads to the sensory nerve ganglia, the junctions where nerves from different parts of the body come together. For the genital area, the ganglia are adjacent to the spinal cord in the lower back. For orofacial herpes , the ganglia are located behind the cheek bone.

How Long After You Get Herpes Do You See An Outbreak

Herpes Zoster Complication in Vaccinated 19

Genital herpes spreads through skin-to-skin contact and is caused by two types of viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, and herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2 Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection has high mortality and significant morbidity. Incidence estimates range from 1/3,000 to 1/20,000 births. HSV type 2 causes more cases than HSV type 1. HSV is usually transmitted during delivery through an infected maternal genital tract Herpes labialis, commonly known as cold sores, is a type of infection by the herpes simplex virus that affects primarily the lip. Symptoms typically include a burning pain followed by small blisters or sores. The first attack may also be accompanied by fever, sore throat, and enlarged lymph nodes. The rash usually heals within ten days, but the virus remains dormant in the trigeminal ganglion Herpes Simplex Virus, Type 2 : Known as genital herpes, HSV-2 can also infect the tongue, particularly during oral sex. Because herpes is highly contagious, you can easily spread it via open sores and saliva to other parts of your body -including your lips, cheeks, gums, the roof of your mouth, inside your nose, throat, chin, eyes.

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