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Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they’ll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:

  • Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
  • Talk about your illness with your doctor.

If you have herpes, you can still:

  • Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
  • Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.

If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .

How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed

HSV nucleic acid amplification tests are the most sensitive and highly specific tests available for diagnosing herpes. However, in some settings viral culture is the only test available. The sensitivity of viral culture can be low, especially among people who have recurrent or healing lesions. Because viral shedding is intermittent, it is possible for someone to have a genital herpes infection even though it was not detected by NAAT or culture. 11

Type-specific virologic tests can be used for diagnosing genital herpes when a person has recurrent symptoms or lesion without a confirmatory NAAT, culture result, or has a partner with genital herpes. Both virologic tests and type-specific serologic tests should be available in clinical settings serving patients with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections. 11

Given performance limitations with commercially available type-specific serologic tests , a confirmatory test with a second method should be performed before test interpretation. If confirmatory tests are unavailable, patients should be counseled about the limitations of available testing before serologic testing. Healthcare providers should also be aware that false-positive results occur. In instances of suspected recent acquisition, serologic testing within 12 weeks after acquisition may be associated with false negative test results. 11

Providers are strongly encouraged to look at CDCs STI Treatment Guidelines for further diagnostic considerations.

How Long Can You Have Genital Herpes Without Knowing

If you ve been exposed to the herpes virus, it can take anywhere from 2 to 12 days for symptoms to appear and for the virus to be detected on a test. In this article, we ll explore all you need to know about when to get tested for herpes, and how you can prevent the spread of herpes to your sexual partners.

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Types Of Tests Used To Diagnose Herpes

There are a number of tests used to diagnose herpes, depending on whether lesions are present.

  • Symptomatic testing: Samples taken from lesions can be used to detect the virus with a viral culture or nucleic acid amplification test . Of the two, NAAT is more sensitive . A polymerase chain reaction test may be used if herpes is suspected as the cause of a systemic or central nervous system infection, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
  • Asymptomatic testing: A blood test may be used to detect HSV antibodies. This is an option for people who had a previous outbreak or had recent exposure. Very recent herpes infections may not be detected. Retesting in a few months may be necessary for accurate results. Some blood tests can also specifically identify an HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.

Due to the high rates of false-positives, screening for genital herpes in asymptomatic adults and adolescents is not recommended.

Here Is My Problem After Removal Of My Uterus Could I Still Have It And It Lay Dormant For All Of These Years

Chickenpox hangover

How long can HIV go undetected. A persons viral load is considered durably undetectable when all viral load test results are undetectable for at least six months after their first undetectable test result. Some HIV Facts You Must Know. These tests look for HIV infection in the blood and are capable of detecting the infection about 7-28 days after becoming infected. Is it possible for hiv to lie dormant for 4 years before showing symptoms. In rest it may remain for 10 years or longer.

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Can Herpes Lay Dormant In Your Body And If So For How Long

Deborah WackerHerpes can lie dormant for a long time. You need to always monitor your health, have balanced meals and always monitor where the herpes was at. Herpes can pop up anywhere, so if you notice the smallest of a rash you need to see your Dr to get control of it right away. Please rate my answer

How Can You Treat Chlamydia

Following a positive test, the most common and effective treatment for Chlamydia is a course of antibiotics, usually over the period of one week. You should abstain for sexual activity for one week following a successful course of antibiotics and ensure that regular sexual partners, as well as previous partners, are informed and tested.

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What Is Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex is a virus that causes skin infections. The infection lasts your lifetime, and it causes painful or itchy sores and blisters that come and go. Herpes simplex virus typically doesnt cause severe problems. But it can be dangerous in infants and people with weakened immune systems. There are two types of herpes simplex:

  • Herpes simplex 1 tends to affect your mouth or face. It causes cold sores. HSV-1 spreads through contact with saliva .
  • Herpes simplex 2 is a sexually transmitted disease . It causes sores on skin that comes in contact with the genitals of an infected person.

Sometimes a herpes infection can affect other parts of your body, such as your eyes or other parts of your skin.

What You Need To Know

It Might Be Good to Have Herpes | Trained Immunity
  • 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.

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Is Genital Herpes Infection Related To Hiv

Herpes and HIV are caused by different viruses. But patients infected with these viruses are more likely to transmit either disease to their sexual partners. Patients with herpes are more vulnerable to HIV infection. People newly diagnosed with herpes should be tested for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

Patients who are infected with both herpes and HIV also may have a higher concentration of HIV viruses in their body because of the interaction between the herpes virus and the HIV virus. When HIV damages a persons immune system, the person may be more likely to shed herpes simplex virus asymptomatically.

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Can Herpes Be Dormant And Test Negative

During the herpes incubation period, you may still test negative for the virus, as your body is building an immune response to the infection. If your immune system has not yet produced the antibodies, they wont show up on an antibody test. This can lead you to believe that you dont have the virus, even though you do.

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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.

Herpes Outbreak Treatment Options

I think I may have contracted herpes from my husband of 7.5

Even without treatment, most herpes outbreaks go away on their own. There are treatments available, however, which have been proven to shorten and even prevent future outbreaks. These antiviral medications work by preventing the virus from making copies of itself and spreading through your cells to cause an outbreak. If you suffer from oral herpes, a healthcare provider may recommend a topical cream or ointment that you should apply at the first sign of an outbreak. If you experience recurrent genital herpes outbreaks, you may be offered oral herpes treatments which are pills you take by mouth. Examples of antiviral drugs include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir . These are all standard options proven to help decrease the severity and length of outbreaks from herpes .

Prescription antiviral treatments are usually very effective at prevent future outbreaks, reducing the chance of experiencing an outbreak by 7080%. Many people on antiviral therapy report experiencing no herpes symptoms at all . Using medication within the first 24 hours of symptoms can shorten outbreaks by several hours or days, ultimately reducing any discomfort in the long run .

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How Does Genital Herpes Affect Pregnancy

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.

Treatment Of Herpes With Natural Remedies

It is not always necessary to go to the pharmacy immediately, when you developed a cold sore. Try one of the many herbal remedies or herbal teas that help cure herpes. Or you can eat antiviral foods garlic, coconut oil or ginger.

Herbal tea for the treatment of herpes

Soothing lemon balm tea

Ingredients: 10 g lemon balm, 10 g burdock root, 10 g couch grass root, 10 g nettle, 5 g walnut leaves

Mix all ingredients. Pour 1 teaspoonful of the mixture into 200 ml of cold water. Let it rest for two hours, then bring to a boil and cook for a minute. Let it rest for another fifteen minutes and then drain. It is best to drink a cup of this tea three times a day. The blend has a deeply soothing effect.

Wallwort macerate with marshmallow

Ingredients: 30 g marshmallow root, 30 g wallwort root

In the evening, put two teaspoons of the mixture into three cups of cold water. Let it rest overnight and bring it to a boil in the morning, but do not cook. Let it rest for 30 minutes and then pour it off. Drink regularly during the day, one and a half cup at each meal.

Healing plaster and first aid with natural remedies

The following plasters are particularly effective:

  • A healing plaster of diluted yeast is very popular. Dilute the yeast with water and cover the cold sore with the mixture. The sore dries very quickly together with the yeast and it makes the healing time considerably shorter. Yeast contains a large amount of vitamin B, that is especially helpful.
  • Experiences of our customers:

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How Physicians Can Bust Myths About Herpes

There are common misconceptions patients have about the disease that physicians can address

Of all the sexually transmitted infections , Herpes simplex virus-2 may be one of the most misunderstood, according to Beth Oller, MD, a family physician who specializes in womens health and obstetrical care in Stockton, *KS.

She feels its important that physicians understand some of the common misperceptions that patients have about herpes in order to help them get the best care.

One of the biggest about herpes is that patients had to have gotten it from their current partner. Actually, herpes can activate years after you initially came into contact with it, Oller says.

This can lead to confusion and frustration between partners that may be unnecessary, Oller says. I have a patient with a severe primary herpes outbreak who has been married for seven years. I dont think her husband is cheating on her. She could have brought it into the relationship from a prior boyfriend.

Herpes can lay dormant for decades, Oller says, though that is less common. Stress and lowered immunity can cause the virus to activate suddenly. More commonly, people get their primary outbreak within two to twelve days after exposure. That first exposure can last quite some time, she warns, from two to four weeks. Later outbreaks tend to be less severe.

As with all STIs, the best defense against them is to always use a condom.

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Unfortunately, the lack of a visible outbreak doesnt mean youre herpes-free. Many people infected with the virus never experience an outbreak, Mary Rosser, MD, PhD, director of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, tells Health. And when they do, it frequently isnt recognized. This explains why, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 87.4% of infected individuals have no clue.

Outbreaks can be very mild and even confused with things like heat rash, jock itch, yeast infections, allergic reactions, Fred Wyand, director of communications for the American Sexual Health Association , tells Health. So while some cases do involve pronounced symptoms, most never do.

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How Is It Spread

The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the herpes virus:

  • Most often, from herpes sores or blisters
  • Less often, from normal looking skin where the virusfirst entered the body
  • The herpes virus enters the body through the:
    • Lining of the mouth
    • Regular skin that has small cracks or cuts

People with a weak immune system can get a herpesinfection more easily. A weak immune system is causedby some diseases and by somemedicines used to treat serious diseases.

People who don’t know they have herpes can still spread the virus to others.

Hiding Is Better Than Fighting

Creating a vaccine for HSV is difficult because it hides within the nervous system. HSV travels to the nervous system so quickly that it is challenging to have an effective immune response that will prevent it from entering our nerves. One solution to this problem may be to keep HSV latent so that it never wakes up from its deep slumber. This could prevent the virus from causing disease. For this solution to work, we must understand why HSV goes into latency in the first place. Studies like this one are just a start, we still have a lot to learn about what viruses do while they are sleeping.

Additional images via Wikimedia Commons. Chickenpox image by Jonnymccullagh. 3D herpes virus by Thomas Splettstoesser.

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What Are The Different Types Of Herpes

There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV I and HSV II. HSV I commonly causes oral herpes, or cold sores. This virus can show up as an upper respiratory tract infection during early childhood. HSV II is the cause of most cases of genital herpes. However, it is possible for HSV I to cause genital herpes and HSV II to cause oral herpes.

Clinicians cannot tell the difference between the two types by physical examination alone, but there are differences between the two viruses. For example, genital herpes caused by HSV II is much more likely to recur. This diagnosis can be helpful in establishing a health care plan.

Herpes And Newborn Infants

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Herpes infection in a newborn can cause a range of symptoms, including skin rash, fevers, mouth sores, and eye infections. If left untreated, neonatal herpes is a very serious and even life-threatening condition. Neonatal herpes can spread to the brain and central nervous system, causing encephalitis and meningitis. It also can lead to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and death. Herpes can also spread to internal organs, such as the liver and lungs.

Infants infected with herpes are treated with acyclovir, an antiviral drug. They usually receive several weeks of intravenous acyclovir treatment, often followed by several months of oral acyclovir. It is important to treat babies quickly, before the infection spreads to the brain and other organs.

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Treatment For Genital Herpes

Three drugs are approved to treat genital herpes:

These medications are antiviral drugs called nucleoside analogues. The drugs are used initially to treat a first attack of herpes, and then afterward to either treat recurrent outbreaks or reduce frequency of recurrences .

No drug can cure herpes simplex virus. The infection may recur after treatment has been stopped. Even during therapy, an infected person can still transmit the virus to another person. Drugs can, however, reduce the severity of symptoms, improve healing times, and prevent recurrences.

Antiviral drugs for genital herpes are generally given as pills that are taken by mouth. If people experience very severe disease or complications, they need to be hospitalized and receive an antiviral drug intravenously. Acyclovir is also available as an ointment, which can be used as an adjunct for treatment of initial genital herpes.

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