Could I Give Myself Genital Herpes
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What Can You Catch From A Dirty Towel
While herpes cant be transmitted from using a dirty towel, there are germs that may be passed from one person to another in this way. Most commonly, these are the bacteria Staphylococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus .
These germs and others live for a longer period of time on hard, porous surfaces than on nonporous ones, such as fabric. Even so, you may be exposed to viruses, fungi, and bacteria from a dirty towel if its newly soiled.
Caregivers to sick individuals must be especially careful not to come into contact with towels soiled from:
Washing your hands thoroughly and immediately after touching a dirty towel should be enough to protect you from contagions.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be transmitted from skin-to-skin contact as well as from contact with bodily fluids, such as:
Find An Experienced Ob
As previously mentioned, most people living with herpes don’t realize that they have the virus. The virus is classified into two: herpes simplex virus type 2 and herpes simplex virus type 1. It is transmitted by sexual contact, contact with infected saliva, or mouth-to-mouth contact. While the symptoms come and go, these types of herpes are incurable and contagious. Also, the virus does not always show symptoms, so getting tested is essential. The qualified gynecologists at All Women’s Care in Los Angeles can test you and assist you in managing the virus. To learn more about herpes and how we can help you, call us today at .
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Can Women Who Have Sex With Women Get Genital Herpes
Yes. It is possible to get genital herpes, or any other STI, if you are a woman who has sex only with women.
Talk to your partner about her sexual history before having sex, and ask your doctor or nurse about getting tested if you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes. Use a dental dam during oral sex and avoid sexual activity during an outbreak.
Myth #: There Are Two Types: Genital And Oral Herpes
Buckle up, because this is where things get really confusing. There are two types of herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is typically oral, meaning it causes cold sores on the mouth. More than half the population has been exposed to this virus, and often from childhood. HSV-2 is typically genital, and most usually is transmitted through sexual contact.
With that said, Dr. Dweck says that herpes type 1 can be spread to the genitals via oral contact . So you might have type 1 that only presents orally, or you might have type 1 that only presents genitally. Herpes type 2 can also be spread in the reverse fashion, from the genitals of one individual to the mouth of the other .
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Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md
Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.
Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.
Is There Any Resistance To Genital Herpes Medication
Resistance to drugs that treat genital herpes even after 20 years of use is very rare. Herpes medications may not work as well in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been treated with these drugs for a long time. Each individuals response to treatment may vary. In some cases, patients may need more drugs to suppress their viral outbreaks than others.
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Is There An Oral Herpes Virus
Oral herpes and genital herpes are misleading names. It used to be said that HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes and HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes. However, the truth is that either virus can infect either location.
A growing percentage of genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1. Some scientists estimate that more than half of new genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1 rather than HSV-2.
There is some evidence that HSV-1usually associated with oral herpesmay actually be more infectious than HSV-2. That means that people with cold sores may be at higher risk of transmitting herpes to their partners than people with genital infections, although they probably neither realize it nor worry about it.
Another reason that genital HSV-1 is becoming more common is that cold sores are actually on the decline. There is some evidence that individuals with a childhood history of recurrent cold sores are less likely to be infected with genital herpes caused by the cold sore virus. They can still be infected, but their childhood infection seems to provide some protection.
If You Have Genital Herpes Already Can It Be Spread To Other Parts Of The Body Such As The Arms Or Legs
No. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of your body such as your arm, leg or hand after the first infection occurs. If you have genital HSV II, you will not get HSV II at another site in your body. The immune system produces antibodies that protect other parts of your body from infection. However, there are cases where a person has multiple site infections from the same virus. This is usually acquired at the time of the first infection. For example, if someone has never had herpes but then has oral and genital sex with an infected partner, they can acquire the infection at both sites.
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What If My Partner Already Has Herpes Simplex
When you and your partner have the same virus you will not reinfect each other even on a different part of the body, you will not catch it back yourself on a different part of your body.
If you have caught a genital infection from a partners genitals, they will not catch the virus back on their face.
If you have caught a genital infection from a partners facial cold sores, they will not catch the virus back on their genitals.
If you have caught it on your face from your partners genitals, then they will not catch it on their face if they do oral sex on you.
If you have caught it on your face from your partners facial cold sores, then they will not catch it on their genitals if you do oral sex on them.
Read more about protecting a partner from genital herpes in the transmission leaflet, free to members. The information is posted or sent by email.
A two-page summary is available.
I Get Cold Sores A Lot Does That Mean I Should Worry About Every Little Bump Below The Belt
I get cold sores every month, which I suppress pretty well with medication. My concern is that I may autoinoculate and spread it to my genitals in fact, every time I have a pimple, ingrown hair or tear down there I panic! How does the appearance of genital Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 differ from other more benign conditions? Is it unreasonable to end up at the gynecologist every time one of these other things appears?
Great questions. Lets tackle them one by one.
Is it unreasonable to end up at the gynecologist every time something looks funny down there?
Absolutely not. The only way to truly find out what youre dealing with in these situations is by consulting with an expert whose advice you trust. Sometimes even your doctor wont be able to tell by just looking the same problem can look very different in different people, or even at different times in the same person so she can do other tests to help you figure out whats going on.
Can you autoinoculate yourself and spread HSV-1 it to your genitals?
How does the appearance of genital Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 differ from other more benign conditions?
This is a tough one. Like I said, many conditions that can affect the genitals look like Herpes and sorting them out isnt always as easy as laying eyes on the situation. That being said, some of the more common conditions do have typical characteristics.
Theres a picture of each of these conditions to the right. Can you tell which one is which?
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Can Genital Herpes Come Back
Yes. Genital herpes symptoms can come and go, but the virus stays inside your body even after all signs of the infection have gone away. The virus becomes active from time to time, leading to an outbreak. Some people have outbreaks only once or twice. Other people may have four or five outbreaks within a year. Over time, the outbreaks usually happen less often and are less severe.
Experts do not know what causes the virus to become active. Some women say the virus comes back when they are sick, under stress, out in the sun, or during their period.
Transmitting Herpes Through Sex
Well start with the way most people associate with contracting herpes. Sex.
You can also catch herpes from oral sex. If you go down on someone who has genital herpes the infection can pass to your face resulting in cold sores. The opposite can happen too. If someone with cold sores goes down on you they can give you genital herpes.
You can even transmit herpes infections from just foreplay. If you touch an infected persons genitals and then touch your own, or if they touch their genitals and then touch yours you can catch their infection that way too.
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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 Can I Prevent Genital Herpes
If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from 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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How Is It Spread
Herpes is passed from person-to-person by direct skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the virus , even without visible herpes sores.
It also is possible to pass herpes if one person touches the part of their body that has herpes and then immediately touches another persons mouth or genitals. Sharing sex toys without changing condoms or washing toys may also pass the virus. During a primary first outbreak, it is possible to pass the virus to another area of that persons own body, by touching the sores and then touching another part of their body .
The chance of passing herpes is highest when there is an active outbreak . However, HSV can still be passed when there are no symptoms , but this is less likely. Women who have an active outbreak in late pregnancy can pass the infection to their baby during a vaginal childbirth.
Can You Get Genital Herpes Without Having Sex
MEDICALLY REVIEWED ONOctober 5, 2020
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
Herpes is one of the most common and widespread viral infections in the world, partly because its so easy to transmit. But if you practice safe sex you cant catch herpes, right?
Unfortunately, no. Safe sex isnt enough. And the real kicker is that there are other ways you can catch herpes that dont even involve sex. Heres what you need to know.
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What Causes Herpes Simplex
Herpes simplex viruses spread from person to person through close contact. You can get a herpes simplex virus from touching a herpes sore. Most people, however, get herpes simplex from an infected person who does not have sores. Doctors call this asymptomatic viral shedding.
How people get herpes around their mouth
A person with HSV-1 can pass it to someone else by:
Touching the persons skin, such as pinching a childs cheek
Sharing objects such as silverware, lip balm, or a razor
How people get herpes on their genitals
You can get genital herpes after coming into contact with HSV-1 or HSV-2. Most people get genital herpes from HSV-2, which they get during sex. If someone has a cold sore and performs oral sex, this can spread HSV-1 to the genitals, and cause herpes sores on the genitals.
Mothers can give the herpes virus to their baby during childbirth. If the baby is born during the mothers first episode of genital herpes, the baby can have serious problems.
I Had Lesions When I Was Evaluated But My Culture Was Negative Does This Mean That I Dont Have Herpes
Not necessarily. Although lesions can be caused by something other than herpes, false negative herpes tests can occur if the samples are not taken appropriately, if there is a long transport time between the clinic and the laboratory, or if cultures were taken late in the course of the lesions. Lesions that occur early in the course of a herpes outbreak are much more likely to have positive cultures than cultures taken after the lesions crust over.
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How Is Herpes Simplex Treated
There is no cure for HSV at this time, but there are affordable treatments that can help.
Antiviral medications is the treatment of choice for HSV, Dr. Gelow said. The antiviral medicine can be used per outbreak as treatment or as a daily medicine to help prevent outbreaks and decrease risk of transmitting it to others.
How To Test For Herpes
If you have an active outbreak, your local healthcare provider can take a swab from the sore to determine whether you have herpes. If you do not have an active outbreak, your healthcare provider can do a blood test to look for herpes antibodies. These antibodies are only present after the initial outbreak, so a blood test may not detect herpes if it was recently contracted.
Doctors do not routinely test for herpes with other STIs, so you should not assume that youve been tested if youve received a regular STI screening. If you want to check for herpes, its important to discuss this STI specifically with your healthcare provider so you can get the testing you need.
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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.
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Is Genital Herpes Related To Shingles
Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus , which causes chickenpox earlier in life. The natural history of varicella zoster infection is similar to genital herpes infection in that VZV also becomes latent in the sensory nerve roots. Later in life the virus may exit, causing shingles.
Recurrences in shingles cause blister lesions in a single area of skin called a dermatome. Shingles is not a sexually transmitted infection and is independent from genital herpes.
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What If You And Your Partner Already Have Genital Herpes
Surprise, surprise, you can still get oral herpes!
Lets just say that you are in a happy relationship and both you and your partner have genital herpes. If you give your partner a blow job, regardless of what strain they have, you may end up with oral herpes.
- If you have HSV-2 on your genitals, your partner can still give you HSV-1 on your mouth.
- If you have HSV-2 on your mouth, your partner can still give you HSV-1 on your genitals.
- If you have HSV-2 on your genitals, your partner can still give you HSV-2 on your mouth.
- If you have HSV-2 on your mouth, your partner can still give you HSV-2 on your genitals.