Thursday, July 11, 2024

How Can Someone Get Herpes Without Being Sexually Active

How Does Genital Herpes Spread

It Might Be Good to Have Herpes | Trained Immunity

The herpes virus that causes genital herpes spreads through saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. Its possible to get genital herpes from someone who doesnt have visible symptoms. You can have the infection, not know it and infect someone else.

Research has found it is possible for genital herpes to spread through:

  • Oral sex with someone whos infected.
  • Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
  • Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
  • Childbirth by a mother who has an active infection.

You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.

Recommended Reading: When To Test For Herpes

How Should I Take Valacyclovir Tablets

  • Take valacyclovir tablets exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Your dose of valacyclovir tablets and length of treatment will depend on the type of herpes infection that you have and any other medical problems that you have.
  • Do not stop valacyclovir tablets or change your treatment without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Valacyclovir tablets can be taken with or without food.If you are taking valacyclovir tablets to treat cold sores, chickenpox, shingles or genital herpes, you should start treatment as soon as possible after your symptoms start. Valacyclovir tablets may not help you if you start treatment too late.
  • If you miss a dose of valacyclovir tablets, take it as soon as you remember and then take your next dose at its regular time. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time.
  • Do not take more than the prescribed number of valacyclovir tablets each day. Call your healthcare provider right away if you take too much valacyclovir tablets.

Can You Catch Pubic Lice Without Being Sexually Active

Pubic Lice are spread through close bodily contact with someone that has them. They are most commonly transmitted through sexual contact, even if you practise safe sex. However, you can catch Pubic Lice without being sexually active through other close contact activities such as hugging and kissing.

Usually, Pubic Lice will only leave one body for another as they need human blood to survive. However, although rare, it is possible for Pubic Lice to be spread through the immediate sharing of unwashed clothing, towels and bedding.

Pubic Lice are not related to poor personal hygiene and cannot be contracted without coming into close contact with somebody that already has them, regardless of personal hygiene levels. Similarly, you cannot catch pubic lice from regular head lice.

Also Check: How Long Does The Herpes Outbreak Last

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How Can You Avoid Genital Herpes

Most women get genital herpes through sexual contactwith a person who has herpes sores. You can get thevirus without having sex. To avoid infection:

  • Avoid skin-to-skin and sexual contact.
  • Have safer sex:
  • Reduce the number of sexual partners.
  • Condoms, when used correctly, can reduce therisk of getting genital herpes. Each time you have sexuse a condom :
  • Before vaginal sex
  • Before oral sex
  • Have sex with only one partner who does not have sex with others and does not have herpes.
  • Know that other forms of birth control do not protect against herpes infection.
  • Also Check: How Can I Cure Herpes Forever

    How Does Genital Herpes Affect Pregnancy

    HPV vs. Herpes vs. Genital Warts  What

    Herpes simplex virus doesnt affect fertility or your ability to conceive. Pregnant women diagnosed with HSV-2 should start a daily antiviral at 36 weeks of pregnancy as prescribed, to prevent outbreaks during delivery. If you have an active infection at the time of childbirth, you can pass the herpes virus to your baby. Neonatal herpes puts a baby at risk for blindness, brain damage, skin infections and death. Your healthcare provider will perform a cesarean section to lower this risk.

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    How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes

    Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.

    Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and 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 when you got the infection.

    How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes

    Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms. Mild symptoms may go unnoticed or be mistaken for other skin conditions like a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people do not know they have a herpes infection.

    Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. This is known as having an outbreak. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. Flu-like symptoms also may occur during the first outbreak.

    People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they have HSV-2. However, repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although genital herpes is a lifelong infection, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.

    Ask a healthcare provider to examine you if:

    • You notice any symptoms or
    • Your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD.

    STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when peeing, or bleeding between periods .

    Also Check: How Long Does An Initial Herpes Outbreak Last

    Myth #: You Can Cure Herpes Holistically

    Both experts tell me, unequivocally, that herpes cannot be cured. “Unfortunately, I think some herbal remedies take advantage of the misconception that they can cure herpes, but what’s really happening in these scenarios is that your outbreak is going away,” Hawkins says. Outbreaks tend to lessen naturally over time, BTW, whether or not you invest in supplements and holistic remedies. “There is no cure for herpes it is with a person for life,” she says.

    How Does Genital Herpes Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby

    Herpes (oral & genital) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

    Neonatal herpes is one of the most serious complications of genital herpes.5,16 Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women if they have a history of genital herpes.11 Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, or babies may be infected shortly after birth, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. 17 Infants born to women who acquire genital herpes close to the time of delivery and are shedding virus at delivery are at a much higher risk for developing neonatal herpes, compared with women who have recurrent genital herpes . 16,18-20 Thus, it is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. Women should be counseled to abstain from intercourse during the third trimester with partners known to have or suspected of having genital herpes. 5,11

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    Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Recurrent Outbreaks

    It is not well understood what reactivates the herpes virus symptoms to recur. The triggers may include:

    • Friction or trauma in the genital area
    • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
    • Having a weakened immune system

    A healthy lifestyle, such as a good diet, getting enough sleep and rest, exercise, and reducing stress may help limit the number of outbreaks. Using a water based lubricant during sexual intercourse can help to reduce friction and skin irriation that may trigger an outbreak in some people.

    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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    Myth #: You Can’t Contract Herpes If You Always Practice Safe Sex

    Condoms only cover part of the area in which herpes can manifest, says Dr. Dweck, which means that they don’t fully protect you from catching the virus.

    For this reason, there is one way to practice mostly safe sex with respect to herpes. In other words, you can’t protect yourself from getting it, but someone with herpes can protect you by taking what Dr. Dweck calls “prophylactic antiviral medication,” e.g. Valtrex, every day, whether there’s an outbreak or not. “I have a lot of patients who are in a discordant couple, meaning that one person has herpes and the other doesn’t and they want to prevent transmission,” says Dr. Dweck. “The person who has it can take Valtrex to help prevent transmission.”

    I Tested Positive For Herpes Whats Next

    Teenagers now more likely to get genital herpes

    If you have herpes, it is important to notify your partner so they may protect themselves. As mentioned before, herpes is very common and although it can be painful and disruptive, it does not typically cause serious health problems.

    Although there is no cure for herpes, there are treatment options to make outbreaks and symptoms more manageable. There are medications available to prevent and shorten outbreaks as well as make it less likely to pass the infection on to your partner. Safer sex practices will also reduce risk.

    People who have herpes are twice as likely to get HIV as those who do not. Routine testing for HIV and other STIs is recommended.

    Recommended Reading: What Does Herpes Do To Your Body Long Term

    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.

    What Causes Human Papillomavirus

    Less commonly, HPV can be transmitted non-sexually. Many instruments used by healthcare providers are reusable. Metal tools, such as vaginal speculums, are used on a patient and disinfected before being placed in new packaging and then reused. Some research has shown that HPV can potentially be spread to patients via metal reusable tools, despite disinfection.

    Other types of HPV that can cause common warts such as hand warts and plantar warts on the feet are not transmitted sexually.

    Recommended Reading: How To Treat Herpes Type 1

    How Can I Get Herpes Without Having Sex

    Herpes or Herpes Simplex Virus is a viral infection with 2 forms: HSV-1 and HSV-2. These infections can result in oral cold sores, genital cold sores, or both. The World Health Organisation estimates that 3.7 billion people under 50 have HSV-1 globally, while 491 million people aged 15-49 have HSV-2. Herpes is one of the most common infections worldwide, with around 65% of people in the age range 15-49 infected with HSV-1 and 11% of people in the age range 15-49 infected with HSV-2.

    HSV-1 is usually contracted through oral-to-oral contact but can sometimes be acquired after oral-genital contact, in or around the genital area. HSV-2 is exclusively contracted during sex and is a sexually transmitted disease.

    Myth #: You Get Tested For It Every Time You Ask For An Sti Check

    Herpes Spreads, Even Without Symptoms

    In the midst of reporting this piece, I happened to see my OB/GYN. Regarding herpes, he told me, and I quote, We can land a man on the moon but we cant figure out herpes diagnosis.

    So, heres the thing: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention doesnt recommend routine herpes testing, which means that unless you specifically ask for it, youre not getting tested for it. This might seem like a massive oversight, but there are a number of good reasons for this.

    When you do blood testing for herpes, its very difficult to interpret, says NYC-based gynecologist Alyssa Dweck, MD. It might tell you youve been exposed at one point at your life, but it wont tell you when that happened or who you got it fromso the usual STD screen doesnt test for herpes in the blood unless people ask for it. Even then, a positive result will mean youll be told youve been exposed to herpes, which isnt quite the same thing as being told you have it. Plus, per the CDC, diagnosing someone without symptoms via a blood test has not shown to change their sexual behavior or stop the spread of the virus.

    Recommended Reading: How Many Different Types Of Herpes Are There

    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.

    Genital Herpes And Pregnancy

    Pregnant women who get genital herpes during pregnancy, or who had genital herpes before becoming pregnant, can spread the infection to their babies during delivery. If its not treated, it can be deadly to the baby. The risk of giving herpes to your baby during delivery is low, however. Most women who have genital herpes give birth to uninfected babies.

    Still, its important to avoid getting herpes while pregnant. And if youre pregnant and already have genital herpes, you should have regular prenatal visits. If you dont have your own doctor, find a Planned Parenthood clinic, a community health center, or another clinic that provides prenatal care.

    Tell your doctor if you have ever had symptoms of, or have been diagnosed with, genital herpes. Also tell your doctor if you have ever been exposed to genital herpes.

    Some research suggests that genital herpes infection may increase the risk of miscarriage or heighten the risk that you will give birth too early.

    If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, your doctor may prescribe herpes medicine late in your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of herpes when you give birth. At the time of delivery, your doctor should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you do have herpes symptoms at delivery, the doctor may do a cesarean section .

    Read Also: Can Herpes Be Treated Naturally

    What Should I Do If I Have Genital Herpes

    If you have genital herpes:

    • See a doctor or nurse as soon as possible for testing and treatment.
    • Take all of the medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antiviral medicine.
    • Tell your sex partner so they can be tested and treated if necessary.
    • Avoid any sexual contact while you are being treated for genital herpes or while you have an outbreak.
    • Remember that genital herpes is a lifelong disease. Even though you may not have a genital herpes outbreak for long periods of time, you can still pass the virus to another person at any time. Talk with your doctor or nurse about how to prevent passing the virus to another person.

    Meet Nearby People With Herpes


    PositiveSingles is the largest online dating and support community for people with herpes. Online since 2001, it has the largest user base among all the STD dating sites and APPs. You will find out there are plenty of people around you.

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    It started as a long distance relationship for 6 months but after that we moved in together. Wishing the same for everyone else searching for their mate.

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    Myth #: Herpes Is A Really Big Deal

    This one is my favorite, having watched a number of friends be traumatized by diagnoses, only to later realize that ultimately, herpes is not that big of a deal.

    For starters, Dr. Dweck tells me that one-third of the sexually-active population has been exposed to herpes. Hawkins offers more specific, but equally staggering, numbers as well she says that one-half of the population has oral herpes and one-sixth of the population aged 14 to 49 has genital herpes.

    Whats more, my OB/GYN points out that the virus is more so inconvenient than it is nefarious, meaning that while outbreaks, especially your first, can be painful, theyre not doing you any health harm overall. And if you do have significant recurrent outbreaks, theres a medication for that.

    For all of these reasons, pros tend to agree that the outsized stigma around herpes is unwarranted and often, its the worst part of being infected. In reality, theres no reason herpes should make someone feel like a social pariah or that it should remain such a closeted, shameful condition.

    The fact that so many people are living with this and having the same experiences but we dont talk about it, its really a shame because we could definitely support each other in ways were currently not doing, says Hawkins. Herpes is, of course, not something people would want, but its not as big of a deal as people make it out to be.

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