Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How Many Americans Have Herpes

Is There A Cure For Genital Herpes

Why Do So Many People Have Herpes?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for HSV-1 or HSV-2.

Because of this, its important to be aware of how to prevent, identify, and treat outbreaks. Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding the infection and the possible complications associated with the herpes simplex virus. Its important for anyone who is infected, or thinks that they may have been exposed to herpes, to take precautions. If there is a current outbreak , skin-to-skin contact should be avoided. This includes kissing and any unprotected sex, including oral sex. Anyone who is infected with herpes simplex, even without visible symptoms, can pass it to another person. Because of this, its important to take precautions during every sexual encounter.

Here are some of the ways that people can protect themselves from genital herpes.

  • Using a condom during sex helps protect against herpes and other STIs.
  • Make sure that both partners are tested for HSV and that the results of the tests are in before engaging in unprotected sex.
  • Currently, vaccines are being developed.

Are Canker Sores Caused By The Herpes Virus

Canker sores are not caused by the herpes virus or by any other virus. In fact, the cause of canker sores is unknown, although they may be triggered by a minor injury in your mouth from dental work or brushing too hard, an allergy, a vitamin B deficiency, stress, or a food intolerance. Some medical conditions, such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, may also cause canker sores, and they often occur in families, so its possible genetics or environment play a part, too.

Canker sores typically appear as small, round, or oval whitish sores with a red border, according to the Mayo Clinic. They typically occur on the tongue, inside the cheeks, inside the lips, or on the gums. The medical term for a canker sore is aphthous ulcer. Canker sores can be quite painful, but they usually heal within about two weeks without leaving any scarring.

Unlike cold sores, which usually occur outside the mouth, canker sores occur only inside the mouth. Like cold sores, canker sores are recurrent, but they are not contagious: You cant give a canker sore to another person. Canker sores occur more often in teenagers and young adults, and they are more common in women than men.

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 .

Read Also: What Does Herpes Around The Mouth Look Like

How Common Is Genital Herpes

Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. CDC estimated that there were 572,000 new genital herpes infections in the United States in a single year.1 Nationwide, 11.9 % of persons aged 14 to 49 years have HSV-2 infection .2 However, the prevalence of genital herpes infection is higher than that because an increasing number of genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1. 3 Oral HSV-1 infection is typically acquired in childhood because the prevalence of oral HSV-1 infection has declined in recent decades, people may have become more susceptible to contracting a genital herpes infection from HSV-1. 4

HSV-2 infection is more common among women than among men the percentages of those infected during 2015-2016 were 15.9% versus 8.2% respectively, among 14 to 49 year olds. 2 This is possibly because genital infection is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men during penile-vaginal sex. 5 HSV-2 infection is more common among non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites . 2 A previous analysis found that these disparities, exist even among persons with similar numbers of lifetime sexual partners. Most infected persons may be unaware of their infection in the United States, an estimated 87.4% of 14 to 49 year olds infected with HSV-2 have never received a clinical diagnosis. 6

The age-adjusted percentage of persons in the United States infected with HSV-2 decreased from 18.0% in 19992000 to 12.1% in 2015-2016. 2

What Happens Once You Have Hsv

Herpes one of the most common STD

Once a person becomes infected with a herpes virus, the virus never leaves the body. After the first outbreak, the virus moves from the skin cells to nerve cells. The virus stays in the nerve cells forever. But it usually just stays there. In this stage, the virus is said to be dormant, or asleep. But it can become active again.

Some things that can trigger the virus are:

Also Check: How To Not Transfer Herpes

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:

Also Check: How Can Someone Get Herpes Without Being Sexually Active

Genital Herpes And How Many People Have Herpes

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Read Also: How To Treat Herpes Sores At Home

How Do You Get Herpes

The skin on your genitals, mouth, and eyes can be infected easily. Other areas of skin may get infected if theres a way for the herpes virus to get in, like through a cut, burn, rash, or other sores. You dont have to have sex to get herpes. Sometimes herpes can be passed in non-sexual ways, like if a parent with a cold sore gives you a peck on the lips. Most people with oral herpes got it when they were kids. A mother can pass genital herpes to a baby during vaginal childbirth, but thats pretty rare.

You can spread herpes to other parts of your body if you touch a herpes sore and then touch your mouth, genitals, or eyes without washing your hands first. You can also pass herpes to someone else this way.

Herpes is most contagious when sores are open and wet, because fluid from herpes blisters easily spreads the virus. But herpes can also shed and get passed to others when there are no sores and your skin looks totally normal.

Most people get herpes from someone who doesnt have any sores. It may live in your body for years without causing any symptoms, so its really hard to know for sure when and how you got it. Thats why so many people have herpes its a pretty sneaky infection.

Because the virus dies quickly outside the body, you cant get herpes from hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats.

There’s A Good Chance That You Have Herpes

Herpes Spreads, Even Without Symptoms

If you catch chlamydia or gonorrhea, you can have it treated with antibiotics and it will go away. However, there is no cure for herpes. So once someone has it, she has it for life. Over an entire population, the cases just add up over time. This means that middle-aged adults have some shockingly high herpes rates. For example, 50 to 70 percent of single women aged 45 to 50 have herpes. , aka genital herpes. The other type is “oral herpes,” HSV-1, although both viruses can infect people in both, um, places.)

Read Also: Can Herpes Break Out Anywhere On The Body

Theres A Good Chance That You Have Herpes

If you catch chlamydia or gonorrhea, you can have it treated with antibiotics and it will go away. However, there is no cure for herpes. So once someone has it, she has it for life. Over an entire population, the cases just add up over time. This means that middle-aged adults have some shockingly high herpes rates. For example, 50 to 70 percent of single women aged 45 to 50 have herpes. , aka genital herpes. The other type is âoral herpes,â HSV-1, although both viruses can infect people in both, um, places.)

Read Also: How Can You Pass Herpes To Your Partner

Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md

Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.

Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.

Recommended Reading: Where To Go To Get Tested For Herpes

Can Genital Herpes Cause Other Problems

For most women, genital herpes does not usually cause serious health problems.

Women with HIV can have severe herpes outbreaks that are long-lasting. Herpes also may play a role in the spread of HIV. Herpes sores can make it easier for HIV to get into your body. Also, herpes can make people who are HIV-positive more likely to spread the infection to someone else.

How Long Before The First Outbreak

Trends in Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2 Seroprevalence in the ...

If someone has contracted HSV but not yet experienced a herpes outbreak, truthfully theres no 100% accurate way to determine when one will occur. An outbreak can occur within a week of exposure, or years later.

First, consider that everyones body is different, as is their immune system. If a person has a strong immune system, then it can be possible for an outbreak to occur years after contracting the virus.

Whats more, some strains of HSV are more forceful and aggravating than others.

There is what is considered typical, and that is that people often have their first outbreak two weeks after contracting it. But this just isnt reliable, because its equally accepted that people can often have outbreaks after two years.

Thats why so many people will have trouble pinpointing when they got herpes at all. There are varied statistics and possibilities:

  • People who already had HSV-1 when they contract HSV-2 may be less likely to show symptoms right away.
  • Many people are asymptomatic carriers, which seems to be true more often with men, having no symptoms whatsoever but able to pass it on for decades.
  • Particularly for women, the first outbreak is usually the most severe and recurrences may be more common.
  • HSV-1 can be passed from the mouth to the genitals, and the outbreaks may be milder than those caused by HSV-2.
  • Some strains of the virus are less persistent than others.
  • 88% of people who have it dont realize they do.
  • Stress is a common trigger for an outbreak.

    You May Like: Is There Any Treatment For Genital Herpes

    Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes

    If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner about their risk. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.

    You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your health, sex life, and relationships. While herpes is not curable, it is important to know that it is manageable with medicine. Daily suppressive therapy can lower your risk of spreading the virus to others. Talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns and treatment options.

    A genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships. Knowing how to talk to sexual partners about STDs is important.

    Myth #: People Cannot Spread Herpes To Others Unless They Have Sores Or Blisters

    Fact: People can spread herpes to others at any time, including when they do not have any symptoms.

    People with herpes may experience outbreaks and remissions. During an outbreak, a person has active sores or blisters, but in remission, they may have no symptoms at all.

    The virus is usually more contagious when a person has an outbreak, but it can also spread when it is in remission.

    Also Check: What To Do If You Have Oral Herpes

    What Happens When Herpes Enters The Body

    One thing that distinguishes viruses in the herpesvirus family from other types of viruses is something called latency. Herpes simplex and other herpesviruses have a way of creating a small but permanent colony of viral particles inside the body. This colony is often completely inactive but it stays for a lifetime.

    Heres how it works: once HSV gains a foothold, the virus begins making copies of itself and spreading. This can lead to a range of signs and symptoms, everything from subtle symptoms that go unrecognized to severe illness. In response, the immune system mobilizes its forces for an assault and limits HSVs spread.

    Whether there are severe symptoms or not, the virus will stay in the body. To avoid the immune system, HSV will retreat along the nerve pathways, hiding in a nerve root called a ganglion. In cases of genital herpes, HSV retreats to the sacral ganglion, located at the base of the spine. In oral or facial herpes , HSV finds its way to the trigeminal ganglion, at the top of the spine. In the ganglion, the virus remains inactive for an indefinite period of time.

    The phenomenon of latency is similar to a sleep cycle. Basically, the virus returns to a safe haven and sleeps, sometimes for long periods. Unfortunately, while HSV is latent, various biological events can cause it to become active and begin traveling the nerve pathways back to the skin. There it can cause signs and symptoms again, though it doesnt always do this.

    How Is Genital Herpes Managed Or Treated

    Who Should BeTested for Herpes?

    If you have mild symptoms or infrequent outbreaks, you might not need or want treatment. During an outbreak, these steps can ease symptoms:

    • Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
    • Keep genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
    • Soak in a warm bath.
    • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
    • Wear loose-fitting clothing.

    Antiviral medications can prevent outbreaks. They can also lessen symptoms and help symptoms go away faster. You take this medicine as a pill, intravenous injection or skin cream. When taken daily, antivirals can prevent an outbreak. They lower the chances of spreading the virus to other people.

    Read Also: Can Herpes Be Cured Permanently

    What Are The Complications Of Genital Herpes

    Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons. 5 Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis . 5 Development of extragenital lesions may occur during the course of infection. 5

    There are also potential complications for a pregnant woman and her newborn child. See How does herpes infection affect a pregnant woman and her baby? below for information about this.

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