Realistic And Unrealistic Expectations
People may just need a little time to assimilate the information. This is where having well-written information helps. Consider giving them reading the material or referring them to a Sexual Health Centre, the Herpes Helpline: 0508 11 12 13 or the herpes website www.herpes.org.nz, to verify the information youve given them.
Whatever the reaction, try to be flexible. Remember that it took you time to adjust as well.
Negative reactions are often no more than the result of misinformation. In some cases, they are brought on when a person fears that youre asking them to commit to a relationship, instead of just informing them of the situation. If your partner decides not to pursue a relationship with you simply because you have herpes, its better to find out now. It takes a lot more than the occasional aggravation of herpes to destroy a sound relationship.
Some people react negatively no matter what you say or how you say it. Others might focus more energy on herpes than on the relationship. These people are the exception, not the rule. This is not a reflection on you. You are not responsible for their reaction. If your partner is unable to accept the facts about herpes, encourage him or her to speak with a medical expert or counsellor.
All relationships face challenges, most far tougher than herpes. Good relationships stand and fall on far more important issues including communication, respect and trust.
The Odds Of Getting Herpes
âWhat are my odds of getting an infection?â This is the most common question we hear in our practice.
In this section, we summarize herpes statistics answering that question and many other related questions regarding herpes transmission:
- With and without protection
- While symptomatic versus while asymptomatic
- And the difference between the two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2
Statistics are one of the most important parts of medicine and doctors rely heavily on statistics for early diagnosis and treatment. They tell doctors how common a condition is in general, how easy it is to get an infection through a one-time contact or through multiple contacts, the chance of contracting the infection in different ways, and many other things.
First, we present tables statistical information. This is followed by FAQ answered by an expert STD physician.
Letâs dive in.
All you need to know about herpes testing. By STD expert.
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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What You Need To Know
- Herpes simplex virus , also known as genital herpes, is most likely to be spread when an infected person is having an outbreak, but it can also be transmitted without any symptoms being present.
- Medications can help reduce your symptoms, speed up the healing of an outbreak and make you less contagious.
- If you know you have genital herpes before becoming pregnant, your physician will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, cesarean section may be recommended.
What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Simplex
Many people with the infection never experience any herpes symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, youll experience them differently depending on whether youre having your first herpes outbreak or a repeat outbreak. Recurring symptoms are usually milder than the first outbreak. Symptoms dont last as long with later outbreaks. Some people may only have one or two outbreaks during their lifetime. Others may have as many as four or five outbreaks a year.
People who do have herpes symptoms may experience:
- Cold sores around their lips, mouth or tongue. They may look crusty or like fluid-filled blisters.
- Tingling, itching or burning.
- Pain while urinating.
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How Long Can Herpes Go Undetected
Once youve contracted HSV, there will be an incubation period the time it takes from contracting the virus until the first symptom appears.
The incubation period for HSV-1 and HSV-2 is the same: 2 to 12 days. For most people, the symptoms begin to show up in about 3 to 6 days.
However, according to the
If Someone With Herpes Has No Sores Can It Still Be Passed On
If someone has herpes but no sores, can it still be passed on to another person? Spence*
Yes. Even when no sores are present, the herpes is still active in the body and can spread to others.
If you or your partner has herpes, reduce the risk of spread by:
- using a condom every time you have sex . The herpes virus can live outside of the area that a condom covers, though, so a condom may not always prevent the spread.
- avoiding sex during outbreaks
- making sure the infected person takes antiviral medicine every day as prescribed by the health care provider
The only way to completely prevent herpes and other STDs is to not have sex .
- *Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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When Is Herpes Not Contagious And When Does It Spread Most
So you or your partner have herpes, and you want to have a healthy love and sex life. These days, its very possible as long as you know the risks and the right precautions. When is herpes not contagious? And conversely, when is it most contagious? Its a more complex answer than you might expect, but an encouraging one when you have the right information.
Medically reviewed by Gerard Sison, PharmD and Meagan Fleming, RN on Dec 1, 2018
What Can You Take To Make The Sores Go Away Or Prevent Them In The First Place
If youâre living with oral herpes and you get symptoms , youâll start to recognize the tingly feeling you get before an outbreak. When that happens, there are lots of things you can take to shorten the length of an outbreak. This includes over-the-counter medicine, alternative medicine options, certain foods, and prescription suppression medications like Valtrex and Acyclovir.
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Why Do Outbreaks Happen In The First Place
If you are one of the people who gets outbreaks from HSV, your first outbreak is very likely to occur a couple weeks after you are infected. This is your body reacting to the new virus inside it. But after that, blisters only pop up every once and a while. They are triggered by a few things that you can do your best to minimize . These include changes in your health, such as an infection, fever, or any shifts in your immune system, changes in your menstrual cycle, sun exposure, stress, and anything that lowers your immune system so that it canât fight off the virus from bursting onto the scene.
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How Are Cold Sores Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
The herpes simplex virus infection that causes cold sores cant be cured, but treatment may help ease some cold sore symptoms. Treatment may include antiviral medicine and other types of prescription medicines. These medicines work best if started as soon as possible after the first sign of a herpes infection or recurrence. Talk with your childs healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines. Cold sores usually don’t scar. They last 10 to 14 days.
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Myth : Theres A Cure For Herpesright
First, the bad news: Once you have herpes, it will be with you for the rest of your life. The virus can lay dormant for long stretches of time, then cause outbreaks at times of stress or illness.
Now, the good news: There are medications you can take to make an outbreak go away faster. If you only get outbreaks once every few years, you can take the medications just when you have an outbreak. If you get outbreaks more often, you might benefit from taking a medication daily to prevent them. A discussion with your healthcare provider will help you decide which strategy is best for you.
Can Genital Herpes Be Treated
Your physician can prescribe different medications to help reduce your symptoms and speed up the healing of an outbreak. These medicines work best when you start them soon after an outbreak occurs.
To reduce pain during an outbreak:
- Sit in warm water in a portable bath or bathtub for about 20 minutes. Avoid bubble baths.
- Keep your genital area clean and dry, and avoid tight clothes.
- Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin.
Let your physician know if you are worried about your genital herpes. He or she can recommend a support group to help you cope with the virus.
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How Long Will I Need To Take The Treatment
Many people who use suppressive therapy say that they get so used to taking the tablets or capsules they are happy to continue with the treatment.
If you choose suppressive therapy, you do not have to stay on it permanently. If you prefer, you can take it until you feel in control of the herpes infection, but this is usually a period of 6-12 months initially. Your doctor may suggest you stop the suppressive therapy for several months after you have taken suppressive therapy for some time, in order to assess how active your genital herpes remains. If you are still having problems with herpes recurrences, you and your doctor may then decide that you should start suppressive therapy again.
Myth : Herpes Is Something To Be Ashamed Of
This is the most important myth to bust: While living with herpes can be a pain, its incredibly common and nothing to be ashamed of. For more information on this virus, check out the CDCs Fact Sheet about it. For a more personal take on living with an STIalong with resources and supportcheck out The STD Project, a site founded and run by a woman whos living with herpes.
Editors note: This article was tweaked ever-so-slightly to refer readers to the CDCs fact sheet for more detail about the two types of herpes viruses.
Grace Shih, MD, MAS, is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington. She completed her family medicine residency at Brown University and her family planning fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. When shes not seeing patients, you can find her cooking, playing guitar, or traveling with her family.
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Myth: I Got Tested For Stds Recently So I Know Im In The Clear
Even if youve been hyper-responsible about getting tested, thats irrelevant when it comes to herpes. The CDC doesnt recommend testing for the virus, so a herpes test is typically not included in the routine STI panel. This is because a blood test for herpes only tells you whether youve been exposed to the virus, explains Dr. Dardik. And a positive result only raises a whole host of concerns of when? and how? and where?, which are not answerable by that test. Its not going to change your management and provide more answers, which is why its not routinely offered, she adds.
Complicating things further is that the herpes virus which infects the mouth and genitals is very similar to the herpes virus that causes shingles and chicken pox. If youve had either of those illnesses, your results may be skewed, says Dr. Rosser.
So how do you know if you have herpes? The best way to tell is to wait until you have a lesion or outbreak of lesions. Then your doctor can run tests on the lesions to determine whether they are in fact herpes, and what type youre dealing with.
What Are Possible Complications Of Cold Sores In A Child
In most children, cold sores don’t cause serious illness. In some cases, the herpes simplex virus can cause inflammation of the brain . This is a serious illness and needs to be treated right away. It can lead to long-term problems of the brain.
Cold sores in a newborn baby can cause serious illness and death. This may be the case even when treated with medicine.
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How Long Can An Infected Person Carry Cmv
CMV remains in the body throughout a lifetime. Infected people may occasionally shed the virus in urine or saliva. Several studies have found that from three to 11 percent of normal adults and up to 50 percent of healthy children shed the virus in either urine or saliva. The virus rapidly dies once outside the body.
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My Partner Doesnt Have Genital Herpes So How Can I Have Caught It
Your partner could be one of the two out of three people with herpes simplex who have it so mildly they do not realise. So they could have sex when the virus is active. Mild symptoms can appear as a pimple, a little cut or an itchy bit of skin and yet these are very infectious. When people with these mild symptoms learn to recognise them, then they can avoid sex at these times. Another possibility is that your partner does not have herpes simplex and you caught it from a previous partner. It is possible to have a first outbreak many years after first catchin it.
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What Causes Cold Sores In A Child
The most common strain of the virus that causes cold sores is herpes simplex virus 1. The herpes simplex virus in a cold sore is contagious. It can be spread to others by kissing, sharing cups or utensils, sharing washcloths or towels, or by touching the cold sore before it is healed. The virus can also be spread to others 24 to 48 hours before the cold sore appears.
Once a child is infected with the herpes simplex virus, the virus becomes inactive for long periods of time. It can then become active at any time and cause cold sores. The cold sores usually don’t last longer than 2 weeks. Hot sun, cold wind, illness, or a weak immune system can cause cold sores to occur.
What You Need To Know Herpes And Pregnancy
If you have herpes and are expectant, it’s wise to go to prenatal care visits. Tell the physician if you have ever had genital herpes or have ever been exposed to the STD. According to the CDC, the virus can result in a miscarriage or increase your likelihood of early delivery.
The virus can be transmitted to your baby before birth, but it is more common during vaginal delivery. If you are already infected, your doctor might offer you anti-herpes medication at the end of the pregnancy. During delivery, any experienced medical practitioner should examine you for sores, among other symptoms. If you’ve symptoms at childbirth, you will undergo a cesarean section.
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Myth: If My Partner Suddenly Shows Signs Of Herpes They Must Have Cheated
If youve been monogamous with your partner for 5, 10, even 20 years, then out of the blue they have a visible herpes outbreak, the only logical explanation is cheating, right? Not necessarily. Similar to HIV or chicken pox, herpes has viral latency, or the ability to lie dormant in your body for years without showing any signs.
You could have been infected in your 20s, and the virus might show up again when youre 40, says Dr. Dardik. The virus stays in your system even if it isnt active. In some cases, people wont have any kind of outbreak unless its triggered by a significantly stressful life event, like another illness.
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How Do People Get Herpes
Herpes is transmitted through human-to-human contact, usually through kissing or sex. As long as there is skin contact, a person with herpes can infect another person, even when they are not exhibiting any symptoms.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are notorious for lying dormant in nerve cells, where they can remain inactive for some time.
When the virus becomes active, it replicates and becomes transmittable through saliva and other body secretions. This process is called viral shedding. During this period, you may or may not experience symptoms.
Once a person becomes infected with the herpes simplex virus, the virus never leaves the body. As a result, the HSV infection may recur from time to time.
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Herpes Symptoms In Recurrent Infections
Following the first outbreak the herpes virus becomes dormant in the nervous system but occasionally reactivates and this can cause recurrent outbreaks of herpes symptoms. These are generally less severe and will also clear up more quickly, usually in about a week. This is because the body developed antibodies in the first outbreak that it can then use to fight the virus more effectively.
You may find that you experience a tingling sensation before you see any visual sores or signs of an outbreak. This is called a prodrome and can be important when deciding on how to treat you.
If you experience any of these herpes symptoms and would like treatment for the infection, visit one of our clinics for expert help and advice.