Herpes & Hiv: Not What You Think
It is always a shock to find out that what you had assumed was true simply is not. That is why clinical trials are so important to science. The unexpected results of a recent trial examining herpes and HIV demonstrates the importance of carrying out controlled trials to test preconceived beliefs.
Up to 90% of women with HIV infection in southern Africa also have genital herpes . Most people who are infected with HSV-2 do not know that they have the virus, which causes symptomatic genital sores and breaks in the skin but is frequently active without symptoms. Multiple studies had shown that infection with herpes was associated with an increased risk for HIV infection. However, whether treatment to suppress HSV-2 would decrease HIV transmission had not been tested.
The Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study, led by the University of Washington and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, looked at whether the use of acyclovir, a drug widely used for the safe and effective suppression of HSV-2, by persons who are infected with both HSV-2 and HIV could reduce the likelihood that they would transmit HIV to their HIV-uninfected partners.
Can Herpes Be Prevented
It is difficult to prevent the spread of HSV. Partly this is because most infected people dont know that they carry HSV and can spread it. Even people who know they are infected with HSV may not realize they can transmit the infection even without an open herpes sore.
Condoms can reduce the rate of HSV transmission. However, they cannot prevent it. HSV infections can be transmitted to and from a larger genital area, such as that area covered by boxer shorts and also around the mouth. If people with herpes take valacyclovir every day, they can reduce the risk of transmitting herpes to others. Once-daily valacyclovir is approved for persons without HIV who have up to 9 outbreaks a year. However, once-daily therapy is less effective in people with HIV and others with very frequent episodes.
Drug companies are working on vaccines to prevent HSV. One vaccine showed good results against HSV2 in women, but not in men. No vaccines have been approved yet to prevent HSV infection, but research is ongoing in this area.
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Will Treating Stds Prevent Me From Getting Hiv
No. Its not enough.
If you get treated for an STD, this will help to prevent its complications, and prevent spreading STDs to your sex partners. Treatment for an STD other than HIV does not prevent the spread of HIV.
If you are diagnosed with an STD, talk to your doctor about ways to protect yourself and your partner from getting reinfected with the same STD, or getting HIV.
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Some Stds Are More Closely Linked To Hiv Than Others
In the United States, both syphilis and HIV are highly concentrated epidemics among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men .7, 8 In 2019, MSM only and men who have sex with both men and women accounted for 47% of all primary and secondary syphilis cases among males in which sex of sex partner was known.9 In Florida, in 2010, among all persons diagnosed with infectious syphilis 42% were also HIV infected.10 Men who get syphilis are at very high risk of being diagnosed with HIV in the future among HIV-uninfected men who got syphilis in Florida in 2003, 22% were newly diagnosed with HIV by 2011.2 HIV is more closely linked to gonorrhea than chlamydia .11 Herpes is also commonly associated with HIV a meta-analysis found persons infected with HSV-2 are at 3-fold increased risk for acquiring HIV infection.12-14
How Do You Treat Herpes
Theres no cure for herpes, but prescription medications can ease symptoms, end outbreaks sooner, and lower the chances of passing the virus to other people.
You can also help ease the pain caused by herpes outbreaks by taking a warm bath, wearing loose clothing and putting an ice pack on the sores.
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What Happens If Herpes Is Not Treated
Herpes can be painful, but it generally does not cause serious health problems like other STDs can.
Without treatment, you might continue to have regular outbreaks, or they could only happen rarely. Some people naturally stop getting outbreaks after a while. Herpes typically does not get worse over time.
The information on this page is adapted from the CDC and Planned Parenthood.
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Am I At Risk For Chlamydia
Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.
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What Happens If Herpes Goes Untreated
How does it affect the body if it is es if herpes is not treated? The pain of Herpes can be severe, but it is not as severe as other STDs. It is possible that you will still have outbreaks without treatment, or they will only occur rarely without treatment. It is natural for some people to stop getting outbreaks after a while.
Have You Met With Your Doctor Yet
Do you believe you have herpes? Dont live in fear and take action to protect yourself and others.
If you are sexually active, it is important to have a regular sexual health check-up as there is a chance you can pick up an STI. These dont always cause symptoms, but they can put you at greater risk of long-term health problems.
Although your sex life isnt anyone elses business, its important to be honest with your doctor, otherwise, youre doing yourself, and possibly your sexual partners, a disservice.
Need help finding a doctor who is right for you? Check out our doctor profile videos and patient reviews.
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Ways Hiv Cannot Be Spread
HIV is not spread by:
- Mosquitoes, ticks or other insects
- Saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of a person with HIV
- Shaking hands hugging sharing toilets sharing dishes, silverware, or drinking glasses or engaging in closed-mouth or social kissing with a person with HIV
- Drinking fountains
How Common Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. CDC estimated that there were 572,000 new genital herpes infections in the United States in a single year.1 Nationwide, 11.9 % of persons aged 14 to 49 years have HSV-2 infection .2 However, the prevalence of genital herpes infection is higher than that because an increasing number of genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1. 3 Oral HSV-1 infection is typically acquired in childhood because the prevalence of oral HSV-1 infection has declined in recent decades, people may have become more susceptible to contracting a genital herpes infection from HSV-1. 4
HSV-2 infection is more common among women than among men the percentages of those infected during 2015-2016 were 15.9% versus 8.2% respectively, among 14 to 49 year olds. 2 This is possibly because genital infection is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men during penile-vaginal sex. 5 HSV-2 infection is more common among non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites . 2 A previous analysis found that these disparities, exist even among persons with similar numbers of lifetime sexual partners. Most infected persons may be unaware of their infection in the United States, an estimated 87.4% of 14 to 49 year olds infected with HSV-2 have never received a clinical diagnosis. 6
The age-adjusted percentage of persons in the United States infected with HSV-2 decreased from 18.0% in 19992000 to 12.1% in 2015-2016. 2
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Virus Propagation And Titration
HSV-2, virus stock was prepared in African green monkey kidney cells cultured in DMEM supplemented with 10% heat inactivated FCS as described previously . The HSV-2 strain 333 was used either as infectious, or as -irradiated inactivated virus. HIV-1BaL/SUPT1-CCR5 CL.30 was produced using chronically-infected cultures of the ACVP/BCP cell line , originally derived by infecting SUPT1-CCR5 CL.30 cells with an infectious stock of HIV-1BaL . Virus was purified and concentrated as previously described and aliquots were frozen down. All virus preparations were assayed for infectivity.
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Where To Find Support
The key to managing HIV is to see a healthcare provider regularly and take medications. Having mouth sores may make taking medication more difficult. Consider talking to a healthcare provider if there are any concerns that interfere with medication.
Also consider contacting the CDC National AIDS Hotline at 800-232-4636, if interested in having a conversation. Someone will answer the phone and be able to offer accurate information about HIV and healthcare obstacles. They can also share their experiences.
Or check out other available hotlines at Project Inform. There are hotlines for people in nearly every state, for women, for people with disabilities, and more.
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How Its Passed On
Herpes is passed on through:
- sharing sex toys.
It can also be passed from a mother to a baby.
Infection is more likely when blisters are on the skin but it sometimes happens when no blisters are present especially before or straight after an outbreak.
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Using Estimates To Inform Prevention Efforts
These estimates are useful for understanding the potential magnitude of the contribution of HSV-2 infection to HIV incidence, which can help stimulate development of new interventions and guide where future prevention efforts would be best targeted for optimal effect.
Although a number of limitations and caveats surround these data, the estimates nevertheless highlight the important link between HSV-2 and HIV infections and suggest that the global contribution of HSV-2 infection to HIV acquisition could be substantial. Addressing HSV-2 infections not only has the potential to reduce the number of people suffering from genital herpes, but could also make an important contribution to HIV prevention.
In settings or populations with high HIV incidence, people with symptoms suggestive of HSV-2 infection could benefit from HIV testing and more focused HIV prevention efforts, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis. In addition, further investment is needed in development of new interventions against HSV-2 infection, such as vaccines, new antivirals, or microbicides.
The authors recognise that no single intervention will likely be sufficient to achieve global HIV prevention goals, and combination measures are needed. These estimates suggest that HSV-2 prevention measures could be an important additional tool in the fight against HIV.
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Gum Disease And Dry Mouth
Although these arent sores, gum disease and dry mouth are common problems.
Gum disease causes the gums to swell, and can be painful. In severe cases, it can lead to gum or teeth loss in as quick as 18 months. Gum disease may also be an indication of inflammation, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Dry mouth occurs when a person doesnt produce enough saliva. Saliva can help protect the teeth as well as prevent infections. Without saliva, the teeth and gums are vulnerable to plaque development. This can also make gum disease worse.
Treatment: Drink water, floss, and brush consistently to keep the mouth clean and hydrated. For gum disease, a dentist will remove the plaque with a deep cleaning method.
If dry mouth persists, ask a healthcare provider about saliva substitutes.
What You Need To Know About The Links Between Hiv And Stds
Many people think that STDs are a harmless fact of life. Since most STDs can be cured, people think, Doctors give you medicine and thats the end of it, right? Well, not quite! Having an STD can increase your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
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Search Methods For Identifying Studies
Eligible publications were identified through electronic searches of Medline and EMBASE followed by removal of duplicate citations. Details of the Medline search strategy are provided in Additional file . Manual searches of the following conference proceedings from 20062012 were also conducted: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention IAS World AIDS Conference, Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Infectious Diseases Society of America Annual Meeting, and the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research. Reference lists of identified articles were also used. No language restrictions were applied. We did not search grey literature or dissertation indices.
How Is Hsv Transmitted
HSV infections are passed from person to person by direct contact with an infected area. You dont have to have an open HSV sore to spread the infection!
Also, most people with HSV dont know that they are infected and arent aware that they could be spreading it. In fact, in the US only about 9% of people with HSV2 infection knew that they had it.
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Can The Transmitted Herpes Turn Into Hiv Or Aids
No herpes cant convert into HIV.
Herpes causes sores or lesions in the genital area which make a person more prone to HIV infection if they have sex with someone carrying HIV. This may be because sores create breaks in the skin of the genitals and make it easier for HIV to get into the body. Given that herpes causes such lesions, it is extremely important to avoid sex during outbreak.
How Will My Doctor Know If I Have Herpes
Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies. Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for herpes or other STDs.
Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or how long you have been infected.
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Studies Included In The Review
The electronic search strategy identified 1052 articles through MEDLINE and 1531 through EMBASE . Of these, 38 appeared to meet eligibility criteria. Two potentially eligible articles were identified from reference lists, and two more from conference proceedings. Of the resulting 42 studies, 7 were ultimately included . Thirty-five papers were excluded because they were cross-sectional in design , addressed a different research question , included ART-treated patients were methodologic in nature , were duplicate publications , used clinical history or a poor quality serologic assay to define HSV-2 status, or included only patients receiving acyclovir .
How To Live Healthily With Hiv
Besides the answer to how does HIV turn into AIDS? here are also tips about how to live healthily with HIV.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the key to boosting your immune system. You need to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. Some good options are whole grains, lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. Avoid Wrong Types of Foods
Avoid foods which you are allergic to. In addition, you need to avoid raw sea food, half cooked meat, raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products. They may cause foodborne illness and the level of severity of consequences is multiplied in HIV patients.
3. Get Vaccinations
Since you are more susceptible to common infections, you should get immunized against them. At the same time, you should avoid vaccines that are made using live viruses which can cause diseases since your immune system is already weakened.
4. Take Care with Pets and Other Animals
Pets and animals may carry parasites that will cause infections in people with HIV. For example, cats carry feces that can cause toxoplasmosis. Always wash your hands after handling animals.
5. Avoid Getting Stressed
If you feel stressed, increase your sleep time, and try stress relieving practices such as breathing exercises. This is because stress lowers the level of immunity in your body, and this can increase your chances of developing AIDS faster.
6. Dont Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior
7. Improve Your Lifestyle
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Selection Of Studies And Data Extraction
All publications and abstracts that appeared to meet eligibility criteria were retrieved. Two authors independently assessed studies for inclusion in an unblinded standardized manner, and independently extracted data onto standardized forms, with disagreements resolved by consensus and involvement of other authors. Information was extracted from each included study on: 1) characteristics of study participants, including geographic location, sex, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV viral load, 2) methods of HSV-2 ascertainment, including details of laboratory assays as appropriate, and 3) outcome measures, including time-to-event data, CD4 counts, and viral load, along with the follow-up time for the study. Attempts to contact authors to supply missing data were made on up to three occasions if information was not available, data were assumed to be missing at random.