How Is Herpes Transmitted
The transmission rate of Herpes is extremely high when an infected person has an outbreak at the time of sexual activity, however it is still possible to transmit the infection whilst there are no symptoms, usually just before or after an outbreak which will begin with a tingling sensation around the infected area.
Genital herpes is much less infectious if all of the sores on the skin have fully healed and there are no signs of an outbreak. Therefore, it is possible to have herpes and not give it to your partner, particularly if you have not had an outbreak for a substantial amount of time.
When Both Partners Have Herpes
Congratulations you can skip having the talk! If you and your partner have the same type of herpes, you have more freedom than a couple not trying to infect one partner. If you both have HSV-2, for example, you both already have the antibodies built up and cannot be re-infected. Your outbreaks and symptoms will instead be affected by the strength of your immune system, so keep it strong.
You will also not necessarily have the same need to avoid sex during and around times of outbreaks, but you will probably want to, for the sake of avoiding discomfort or prolonging the outbreak by irritating it.
If you have different strains of herpes i.e. one of you has HSV-1 and one has HSV-2, read on. You are already well-protected by your antibodies. If you have HSV-2, you can still get, but might not be as likely to get, genital HSV-1. If you have HSV-1, however, you are still as susceptible to get HSV-2. Getting tested.
There are dating sites for people with herpes that can help you to meet potential partners with the same type of HSV as you. .
What Do I Do If I Find Out I Have Herpes
Its normal to have lots of different feelings after you find out that you have herpes. You might feel mad, embarrassed, ashamed, or upset at first. But youll probably feel a lot better as time goes by, and you see that having herpes doesnt have to be a big deal. People with herpes have relationships and live totally normal lives. There are treatments for herpes, and theres a lot you can do to make sure you dont give herpes to anyone you have sex with.
Millions and millions of people have herpes youre definitely not alone. Most people get at least one STD in their lifetime, and having herpes or another STD is nothing to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about. It doesnt mean youre dirty or a bad person it means youre a normal human who got a really common infection. The reality is that herpes can happen to anybody who has ever been kissed on the lips or had sex thats a LOT of people.
Herpes isnt deadly and it usually doesnt cause any serious health problems. While herpes outbreaks can be annoying and painful, the first flare-up is usually the worst. For many people, outbreaks happen less over time and may eventually stop completely. Even though the virus hangs around in your body for life, it doesnt mean youll be getting sores all the time.
And tell anyone you have sex with that you have herpes. Its not the easiest conversation, but its an important one. Here are some tips:
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Why Your Herpes May Not Be Your Partner’s Fault
There are two common misconceptions about getting herpes. The first is that your partner lied to you about not having herpes if you suddenly have an outbreak. The second is that your partner cheated on you since you haven’t had sex with anyone else in years.
While is possible that both are true, there are other explanations for why you may suddenly have had your first herpes outbreak. This articles explores some of the more common reasons and what you can do to prevent or treat a herpes infection.
Case #3 Were Both Having Our First Herpes Outbreak Who Is The Culprit
A 29-year-old woman, Alexis, came in with a genital rash that was tested for HSV-2 with a swab the results came back positive.
This is her first outbreak and sheâs very concerned.
A few days later, she came back to the office with her boyfriend, Eduardo, who has a penile rash. He tested positive for the same type of herpes.
They started arguing and accusing each other of cheating.
Hereâs what both Eduardo and Alexis said:
- Theyâve been tested after each partner
- The results of their âcompleteâ STD testing have been negative in the past
- This is the first time theyâve had an outbreak like this
They want to know who gave it to whom.
We tested both Eduardo and Alexis with a herpes IgG blood test, and only Eduardoâs result was positive.
This complicated the issue even more since Alexis had visible symptoms first.
Eduardo got herpes from someone else and passed the infection to Alexis, even though Alexis showed symptoms first.
Dr. Fâs Explanation
- Herpes swab vs. blood test
- Both Alexisâs and Eduardoâs swab tests were positive but only Eduardoâs blood test was positive. The swab test confirms only that a visible lesion is a herpes lesion.
- A blood test tests the bodyâs reaction to the virus and can take from two weeks to three months to be positive.
Recommended Reading: Is Herpes Simplex 1 Curable
Get Informed About Genital Herpes
Educate yourself about genital herpes. You’ll find out that it’s not as serious as it may seem, and that couples can and do have wonderful, sexually fulfilling relationships, even if one partner has genital herpes.
Sometimes, people in long-term relationships suspect that their partner has been cheating when they are diagnosed. That’s not necessarily true — your partner could have been infected years or decades before you met.
Also, consider the possibility that you gave your partner herpes. Millions of people live with genital herpes without having a clue that they’re infected. In fact, health experts estimate that 90% of those who are infected in the United States don’t know it. A herpes infection doesn’t always cause obvious sores on the genitals. In many cases, it causes no noticeable symptoms at all. The CDC says that testing sex partners of people with herpes might be useful even if they have no symptoms. If you are pregnant and think that you or your partner have herpes, talk to your doctor about testing. Herpes infections can be life-threatening in babies.
SOURCES: Centers for Disease Control. Fleming, et al. The New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 16, 1997. The American Social Health Association’s National Herpes Resource Center. Warren, T. and Warren, R. The Updated Herpes Handbook. Portland Press, 2002.
How Effective Is Suppressive Therapy
Studies have proven that continuous suppressive antiviral therapy for herpes can dramatically reduce the frequency of herpes outbreaks or prevent them all together and reduces the risk of transmission by 50%.
For example, a very large study found that people who had an average of over 12 herpes occurrences a year, could reduce the frequency of their herpes outbreaks to less than two a year after one year of continuous suppressive therapy.
The study also showed that if recurrences do occur during suppressive therapy, they are usually less severe and shorter lasting.
I didnt want to take any drugs, so I tried natural therapies. These didnt work. I now take aciclovir 400mg twice a day and have not had any outbreaks since. If your outbreaks are frequent, I really recommend it. MK
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Is Genital Herpes Caught From A Cold Sore
If a person with a cold sore on the mouth does oral sex he or she can give his/her partner cold sores on the genitals which is genital herpes. Also, cold sores on the face may be caught from someone with genital herpes through oral sex.
Only the face of a person with cold sores is infectious so they can have sex, but should not kiss or do oral sex when they have a cold sore. See the description of the two types.
You will find Herpes Simplex the Guide booklet useful too.
What Can Disqualify You From Donating Plasma
If youre interested in donating plasma, requirements exist for a rigorous screening as part of the plasma donation process. Part of the reason that the screening process exists is to protect those receiving the donations, many of whom have compromised health. It also ensures that the donors themselves are in good enough physical health to avoid the side effects of donating plasma.
The requirements for donating plasma are fairly consistent. You must be at least 16 years old, weigh over 110 pounds, and have a valid ID. Do they drug test you before donating plasma? Not generally people who take certain prescription drugs, show signs of injectable drug use, or are visibly intoxicated are not allowed to donate plasma.
Part of the reason that the screening process exists is to protect those receiving the donations, many of whom have compromised health.
Certain health conditions also prevent you from donating, such as pregnancy or recent childbirth. If youve had dental work in the past 72 hours, youll be deferred. Also, if youve received the MMR vaccine or had chickenpox in the past month or taken antibiotics orally in the past 2448 hours or by injection in the past 72 hours, youre also deferred.
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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.
Do The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes Return
The symptoms of genital herpes may reappear from time to time. This is because once the herpes virus is acquired, it stays permanently in the body. Most of the time it remains inactive, but every so often it may reactivate and cause another outbreak.
Each individual is different some people never have a recurrence others may have recurrences several times a year. However, recurrent outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first herpes episode.
Certain events or situations can trigger recurrences, and you may be able to help your partner avoid or reduce the trigger factors, which may include stress at work or home, fatigue, ill health, loss of sleep, friction due to sexual intercourse, and menstruation in women.
If your partner has frequent or severe episodes of genital herpes, or if the recurrent outbreaks are causing a lot of anxiety for your partner, then he or she may benefit from suppressive therapy , which prevents or reduces recurrences.
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Controlling Recurrent Genital Herpes: The Use Of Oral Antivirals In Herpes Management
The following section gives you in-depth information about the use of oral antivirals to treat herpes. Aciclovir has been used for this indication for a number of years now and found to be highly effective in controlling herpes recurrences.
Some people with genital herpes have identified factors which may influence the frequency or severity of recurrences. Factors such as stress, diet and lifestyle may be worth considering when looking at ways of managing herpes in your life. Each case is individual and what works for one may not work for another.
Frequent or severe recurrences of genital herpes infection may interfere with normal work and social activities, and cause disruption to your sex life. However, there are steps which you can take to reduce outbreaks and help bring the herpes virus under control. This section explains what you can do and answers some other questions which you may have about living with genital herpes.
Offer To Provide More Information On The Virus
Despite what some people with genital herpes think, its unlikely for a partner to reject you outright as a sexual or romantic prospect after learning that you have herpes.
Its far more likely, however, that they will have questions. Most people arent well informed on how herpes works and how it can affect them. They may not be aware of how herpes relates to sexual activity, or how traditional contraceptives like condoms arent always effective.
If your partner is curious about the virus, it is worthwhile to share some information about how often you experience outbreaks. If you have asymptomatic herpes, you can even let your partner know that you dont get the visual lesions that other people with HSV-2 might.
Do you take medication to treat your herpes? If your partner asks, let them know. Sometimes, a little transparency and comfort is all your partner is looking for, and a quick, honest answer to a curious question can help make the mood more transparent and comfortable.
With this said, there are some answers you might wish to avoid.
You are under no obligation to tell your partner how you contracted the virus. If they ask, feel free to gently let them know that its a private matter if youd prefer to keep the finer details to yourself.
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Should You Get Tested
Its a good idea for the partners of people with genital herpes to have a blood test for herpes antibodies. This can help them to decide whether to use antiviral medication as protection, for example. Both partners may already have the same virus type. Then theres no reason to take medication to protect each other.
If one of the partners has HSV-1 or cold sores and the other one has HSV-2 or genital herpes, they could infect one another with the other virus. If one partner has herpes viruses in their body and the other doesnt, condoms are one way to prevent infection.
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Myth #: You Can Only Contract Herpes From Someone Who Has Symptoms
Hawkins tells me theres a phenomenon in herpes called asymptomatic shedding, where an infected individual can transmit the virus without having an active outbreak. What makes this even trickier is that some people with herpes never have noticeable symptoms and yet they may still be contagious. Its actually a really interesting virus, because you can transmit herpes even though you dont have any symptoms or outbreaks, says Hawkins.
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Intravenous Drugs And Use Of Pharmaceutical Products Without A Doctors Prescription
The use of intravenous drugs, even just once, means you may not donate blood.
The use of intravenous pharmaceutical products without a doctors prescription, even just once, prevents you from donating blood.
If your sex partner has used intravenous drugs or other intravenous pharmaceutical products without doctors prescription, please call our information number in order to check your eligibility to donate blood.
Drug use prevents blood donation. An isolated case of trying drugs or casual use of drugs other than intravenous drugs causes a temporary, two week long obstacle to blood donation.
Would you like more information? Please call the free information number for blood donors on +358 800 0 5801 .
What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Herpes
Some people feel like their love lives are over when they find out they have herpes, but its just not true. People with herpes have romantic and sexual relationships with each other, or with partners who dont have herpes.
Talking about STDs isnt the most fun conversation youll ever have. But its super important to always tell partners if you have herpes, so you can help prevent it from spreading.
Theres no one way to talk about having an STD, but here are some tips that may help:
Keep calm and carry on. Millions of people have herpes, and plenty of them are in relationships. For most couples, herpes isnt a huge deal. Try to go into the conversation with a calm, positive attitude. Having herpes is simply a health issue it doesnt say anything about you as a person.
Make it a two-way conversation. Remember that STDs are super common, so who knows? Your partner might have herpes too. So start by asking if theyve ever been tested or had an STD before.
Know your facts. Theres a lot of misinformation about herpes out there, so read up on the facts and be prepared to set the record straight. Let your partner know there are ways to treat herpes and avoid passing it on during sex.
Tell your past partners too, so they can get tested.
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Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, prenatal care visits are very important. Some research suggest that a genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage or make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. You can pass herpes to your unborn child before birth, but it more commonly passes during delivery. This can lead to a deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a genital herpes diagnosis or symptoms. Also tell them about any possible exposure to genital herpes.
If you have genital herpes, you may need to take anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes when you deliver. At the time of delivery, your healthcare provider should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at delivery, a C-section is likely to occur.