How Is Cmv Spread
Although the virus is not highly communicable, it can be spread from person to person by direct contact. The virus is shed in the urine, saliva, semen and to a lesser extent in other body fluids. Transmission can also occur from an infected mother to her fetus or newborn and by blood transfusion and organ transplants.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Millions of people are living with the herpes virus that causes genital herpes. Its a common STI. You shouldnt be embarrassed or put off seeking medical care if you develop symptoms. Treatments can ease symptoms, reduce outbreaks and protect sexual partners from infection. Having the virus shouldnt affect your relationships or sexual health. However, you do need to tell your sexual partners that you have the virus. Your healthcare provider can discuss ways to prevent spreading this STI.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/23/2020.
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Nature Of The Disease
- HSV-2 is the most common cause of recurrent genital herpes.
- Asymptomatic or subclinical infection is common, and more than 85% of persons with HSV-2 have not been diagnosed.
- The clinical manifestations of herpes infection vary significantly with first clinical episode when compared with recurrent infections.
- Recurrent disease is common and is precipitated by multiple known factors as well as unknown factors.
- Neonatal HSV disease is rare, and the risk is highest among women who develop primary HSV infection at or near the time of delivery.
- Persons with suspected or confirmed primary genital HSV infection should be treated with antiviral therapy.
- The use of episodic therapy may shorten the duration of recurrent episodes, and suppressive therapy may reduce the frequency of symptomatic disease .
- Persons infected with genital HSV should disclose their HSV status to current and future sex partners.
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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.
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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.
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Black Americans And Genital Herpes
The NHANES survey found that the age-adjusted prevalence for the HSV-2, the virus that causes most genital herpes, was 34.6 for Black Americans, compared with 8.1 percent for white Americans.
Black Americans are also less likely to be diagnosed with genital herpes, even after accounting for socio-demographic factors such as education and income or health insurance. Lack of diagnosis likely contributes to ongoing transmission of the virus at a higher rate than for white or Hispanic Americans.
Epidemiology Of Genital Hsv
The best HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence data in the United States have been generated by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey . Based on NHANES data collected from 2015-2016, the HSV-2 seroprevalence rate for that period was 12.1% for persons 14-49 years of age. The following summarizes several key features from the NHANES 2015-2016 report for HSV-2 seroprevalence for persons 14-19 years of age.
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Is Herpes Simplex Related To Herpes Zoster
Like HSV-1 and HSV-2, shingles can cause a painful, blistering rash. The shingles rash usually shows up on the back, side, abdomen , neck and face. It is often only on half of your body, following the pattern of your nerves. See your healthcare provider if you have a new rash and suspect you may have shingles.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Herpes simplex is a virus. Once you have herpes, its a lifelong condition. A herpes infection can lead to outbreaks , but youll also have times when you have no symptoms. The main sign of herpes is sores that appear on the infected skin. Some people choose not to treat herpes, especially if symptoms are mild. Others take antiviral medications to reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/17/2022.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Genital Herpes
Two types of viruses cause genital herpes herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2 .
Usually, HSV-1 causes oral herpes, which becomes visible in the form of cold sores, or fever blisters, on the face, close to the mouth. Most people contract an oral herpes infection during their childhood or young adult years from nonsexual contact with the saliva of an infected person.
HSV-1 mainly spreads through direct contact with cold sores or saliva. Having oral herpes, or cold sores, does not mean that you have genital herpes. But if you have oral herpes, you can spread it from your mouth to another persons genitals if you perform oral sex on them.
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Suppressive Therapy For Recurrences
To suppress outbreaks, treatment requires taking pills daily on a long-term basis. Acyclovir and famciclovir are taken twice a day for suppression. Valacyclovir is taken once a day. The doses for these antiviral drugs are reduced in people with impaired renal function.
Suppressive treatment can reduce the frequency of outbreak recurrences by 70% to 80%. It is generally recommended for people who have frequent recurrences . Because herpes recurrences often diminish over time, you should discuss annually with your provider whether you should stay with drug therapy or discontinue it.
There is some evidence that valacyclovir may help prevent herpes transmission, particularly in situations where one heterosexual partner has HSV-2 and the other partner does not. However, this drug does not completely prevent transmission. While taking any suppressive therapy for genital herpes, it is still important to regularly use latex condoms and to avoid any sexual activity during recurrences.
Herpes And Hiv Infection
In a person with HIV who is not taking HIV treatment, herpes may make them more infectious. This is because untreated sexually transmitted infections can increase HIV viral load in genital fluids and because HIV is present in herpes blisters.
However, if the person with HIV is taking effective HIV treatment and has an undetectable viral load, they will not pass HIV on. Herpes will not make a difference to this. Taking your HIV treatment can also reduce the frequency of herpes outbreaks but has less of an effect on viral shedding.
HIV-negative people who have herpes blisters are more vulnerable to HIV infection, as the blisters provide a break in the skin through which HIV can enter.
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Rash On Buttock Symptoms
Mild rash will not give visible symptoms, however, if the symptoms are present, then they will vary depending on the underlying cause. It is also possible for different people to exhibit different symptoms depending on how strong their immune system is. Immune system is the body defense system against infection caused by bacteria and virus.
The following are some of the symptoms experienced by people with rash on buttock.
- The buttock crack may become dry, scaly and cracked
- Buttock and genital area become reddish
- The rash may be itchy and painful
- Blood blister may appear on the buttock crack
- Pus filled bumps may be seen around the buttock
Depending on the cause of the rash and how strong the immune system is, some people may develop cold like symptoms such as cough, joint paints, sore throats, running nose and headaches. You need to seek immediate medical attention when your body start developing the following symptoms
- Difficulties in breathing
Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases , prompting many to wonder how to get rid of herpes naturally.
The herpes virus can live dormant inside a persons immune system for a lifetime, periodically causing blisters that burst and turn into open cold sores or ulcers before healing. When left alone, herpes cold sores usually last about 1014 days and are uncomfortable for a variety of reasons causing redness, pain, burning and often embarrassment.
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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Research And Statistics: Who Has Genital Herpes
Its estimated that each year, 776,000 people in the United States get new genital herpes infections. Genital herpes is most often caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 .
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , the prevalence of HSV-2 was 11.9 percent during 2015 and 2016, a decline of 5.9 percentage points from the years 1999 and 2000.
HSV-2 is more common in women than in men. Its suspected that women are more likely to contract the HSV-2 infection because genital infection is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men during penile-vaginal sex.
What Are The Types Of Herpes Viruses
Herpes is a group of contagious viruses. All of these viruses cause blisters and sores. Some of the more common herpes viruses include:
- Type 1: HSV-1, or oral herpes, causes cold sores to form on lips, gums, tongue and inside the mouth. It can cause genital herpes in some cases This type usually spreads through saliva when you kiss someone with open herpes sores. You can also get HSV-1 by sharing items like toothbrushes, lipsticks or eating utensils.
- Type 2: HSV-2 causes genital herpes.
- Herpes zoster: This virus causes chickenpox and shingles.
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What Happens If I Dont Receive Treatment
Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.
If you touch your sores or fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another body part like your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, quickly wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading the infection.
If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your unborn fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? for information about this.
Prognosis Of Genital Herpes
Genital herpes can be treated and managed. Baill stresses that for most people who have healthy immune systems, the high-risk times for giving a sex partner genital herpes are during the first outbreak and during later outbreaks of sores.
Without such an outbreak, the viral load is usually not sufficient to infect a normal, healthy partner, she says. Antiviral medication can be effective at controlling the frequency and the severity of genital herpes outbreaks, Baill says.
For some people, though, even the times when no symptoms are present can be risky ones for transmission.
If you have genital herpes and your partner is taking biologic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis or MS or psoriasis, you may need to be extra careful, says Baill. It may take a lower viral load to infect people taking those medications.
In these situations, she says, you may want to take antiviral drugs in an ongoing way to keep your viral load low and protect your partner.
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What Happens During An Hsv Test
HSV testing is usually done as a swab test, blood test, or lumbar puncture. The type of test you get will depend on your symptoms and health history.
- For a swab test, a health care provider will use a swab to collect fluid and cells from a herpes sore.
- For a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
- A lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, is only done if your provider thinks you may have an infection of the brain or spinal cord. During a spinal tap:
- You will lie on your side or sit on an exam table.
- A health care provider will clean your back and inject an anesthetic into your skin, so you wont feel pain during the procedure. Your provider may put a numbing cream on your back before this injection.
- Once the area on your back is completely numb, your provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small backbones that make up your spine.
- Your provider will withdraw a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. This will take about five minutes.
- Your provider may ask you to lie on your back for an hour or two after the procedure. This may prevent you from getting a headache afterward.
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Questions For Your Doctor After At
The following questions about the results of at-home genital and oral herpes testing may be helpful for patients to discuss with their doctor:
- Is my at-home herpes test result reliable?
- What is the most likely explanation for my test result?
- Are there any follow-up tests that you recommend?
- How should I discuss my test result with sexual partners?
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What Triggers Outbreaks
Certain triggers can cause the herpes virus to reactivate. This is known as a recurrence and can happen even if you have a healthy immune system.
There are several known triggers that can stimulate recurrence, including:
- Physical stress, such as an infection, an illness, or an injury
- Persistent emotional stress or anxiety for greater than one week
- Exposure to ultraviolet light , excessive heat, or cold
- Hormonal changes, such as during menstruation
This Virus May Be Super
Herpes is common. Really common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about one in six adults has genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection caused by herpes simplex virus.* . While it may be super-common, there are still a lot of myths out there about ithere are five I hear a lot.
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You Probably Have Herpes But Thats Really Okay
According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, 2 out of 3 people under the age of 50 have Herpes Simplex Virus 1 , more commonly known as oral herpes. Thatâs a staggering 3.7 billion people with a incurable virus.
But the thing about HSV-1 and HSV-2 â the âbadâ herpes â is that theyâre very poorly understood by the general public, and even by some physicians. So if the headline above seemed shocking or offensive to you, we need to have a little chat. Because if you think that people with HSV are icky deviants covered in oozing sores, youâve got a lot to learn â and you could very well be ignoring your own HSV status.
Hereâs what you need to know about the WHOâs recent findings:
1. Yes, pretty much everyone has herpes â and more and more of it is genital
HSV-1 is known for causing cold sores â not ârealâ herpes, the STI that can cause sores around the genitals. This used to be pretty much true. In the past, most of the people who had HSV-1 got it as children, via dry smooches from infected aunties and the like.
But as people gained awareness of the contagious nature of cold sores, they became more cautious about exposing young children to a skin outbreak. That means more and more of us get to adulthood without any HSV immunity.