What Are The Causes Of Herpes Infection
The various causes of herpes infection are:
- Herpes infection spreads from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact and is highly contagious.
- Touching or kissing is the main cause of HSV 1 transmission, whereas, sexual contact is the main cause of HSV 2 transmission.
- If a healthy person shares personal items like toothbrushes, utensils, spoons, etc. with an infected person, then he/she may also get infected.
- Herpes infection can also spread through the eyes.
- This infection can spread by touching the mouth sores of an infected person.
- Having sex without protection can lead to herpes infection of the genitals.
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Could My Partner Have Picked Up Genital Herpes From A Toilet Seat Or Hot Tub
Its very rare, if not impossible, to get genital herpes any other way than by sexual contact. The CDCs website puts it this way: You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools, or from touching objects around you such as silverware, soap, or towels.
Keep in mind that many people have genital herpes for years or even decades without knowing it. When they are diagnosed, their monogamous partners often assume they were unfaithful, which may not be true. It could be something they got a long time ago. A blood test wont tell you when you got herpes or who you got it from.
The New England Journal of Medicine: Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 in the United States, 1976 to 1994.
American Sexual Health Association, National Herpes Resource Center.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases : Genital Herpes.
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Herpes genital .
CDC: Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2002.
WebMD Medical News: Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer.
Terri Warren, RN, Westover Heights Clinic.
Warren, T., and Warren, R., The Updated Herpes Handbook, Portland Press, 2002.
CDC: Genital Herpes CDC Fact Sheet.
How Is Genital Herpes Treated
Herpes has no cure. But antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten outbreaks during the time you take the medicine. Also, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can lower your chance of spreading the infection to your partner.
Your doctor will either give you antiviral medicine to take right after getting outbreak symptoms or to take regularly to try to stop outbreaks from happening. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.
During outbreaks, you can take the following steps to speed healing and prevent spreading herpes to other parts of your body or to other people:
- Keep sores clean and dry.
- Try not to touch the sores.
- Wash your hands after any contact with the sores.
- Avoid all sexual contact from the time you first notice symptoms until the sores have healed.
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What Is The Difference Between Genital Herpes And Genital Warts
Both genital herpes and genital warts are STIs, are spread through skin-to-skin contact, and are caused by a virus. But the viruses that cause genital herpes and genital warts are different:
- Herpes simplex virus is the virus that causes genital herpes.
- Human papillomavirus is the virus that causes genital warts.
There is no cure for either genital herpes or genital warts. But, different medicines can help manage the symptoms of herpes and treat the complications of HPV infections that can cause genital warts.
This Type Of Scenario Is Rare And Is More Likely To Happen Only In Cases Where:
- The immune system is highly compromised
- There is a tear or break in the skin allowing easier access for the virus to transmit
- During the first primary outbreak
Preventing self-infection is simple. Be mindful of transmitting the virus to other skin areas, especially where there is broken skin, avoid touching the infected area altogether during an outbreak. If you do, immediately wash your hands and the area that you have touched with soap and water thoroughly, this will help to stop spreading it further.
Just remember, self re-infection to other body areas is unlikely during a recurrent outbreak and fairly uncommon in general. So, be sensible and dont let paranoia rule your thoughts.
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How To Prevent Herpes Infection Spread
Since there is no specific cure for Herpes Infection, it is better to prevent contracting the virus or prevent the spread of the infection to another person if you get it.
The steps to follow to prevent the spread of herpes infection-
- People who are diagnosed with herpes infection must avoid any physical contact with other people.
- Do Not share objects like utensils, toothbrushes, towels, clothes, cosmetics, lip balm, etc as these items can easily carry and pass the herpes virus from infected to a healthy person.
- One must avoid any form of sexual activity with the partner if diagnosed with or have symptoms of herpes infections, till the doctor advises.
- Patients undergoing the treatment must follow proper hygiene guidelines, must wash hands regularly, apply any ointments or medicines to the sores using clean cotton swabs only.
- Pregnant women diagnosed with herpes infection can prevent spreading the infection to the unborn child by strictly taking the prescribed medications.
The steps to follow to prevent getting herpes infections-
- Get regular tests done for any Sexually Transmitted Diseases .
- HPV vaccines can be taken to prevent getting certain strains of the herpes virus that can cause cancer.
- Follow safe sexual practices- using condoms, using dental dams or condoms for oral sex, alert the sexual partner if you develop any symptoms of the herpes infection, etc.
- Follow good hygiene practices
Avoid Sexual Contact During Outbreaks
During an outbreak of genital herpes, sexual contact of any type should be avoided. Genital herpes can easily be spread through sexual contact, and the use of prophylactics does not guarantee that the virus will not be spread. Genital herpes can be spread from regions that are not protected by a prophylactic. It is generally recommended by doctors that sexual contact should be avoided for at least one week after the sores from an outbreak have fully healed.
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Support And Advice For Genital Herpes
If you have just found out you have genital herpes, you may feel shocked and may have a lot of questions. It may help you to gather as much information as you can about herpes. This can help you to make fully informed decisions about your treatment, safe sex and preventing further recurrences. Talking to a counsellor about your concerns may also help.
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Symptoms Of A Primary Hsv Infection
For some people infected with HSV, the first infection can cause symptoms. These can include:
- pain inside the mouth and on the gums
- swollen neck glands.
The symptoms can last up to 14 days and may cause dehydration, especially in young children, because it is painful to swallow. Primary infections are more likely to be severe in newborn babies, people with atopic dermatitis and in people whose immune system is suppressed.
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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
- *Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
What Can I Do If I Have Herpes
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they will 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 , 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 .
What Should I Know If I Am Pregnant And I Have Genital Herpes
Its normal to be concerned about the health of your baby when you have any type of STI. Genital herpes can be transmitted to your baby if you have an active outbreak during a vaginal delivery.
Its important to tell your doctor that you have genital herpes as soon as you know youre pregnant.
Your doctor will discuss what to expect before, during, and after you deliver your baby. They can prescribe pregnancy-safe treatments to ensure a healthy delivery. They may also opt to deliver your baby via cesarean.
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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.
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Who Might Get Herpes Simplex
People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:
- Were assigned female at birth.
- Have had multiple sex partners.
- Started having sex at a young age.
- Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
- Have a weakened immune system.
- Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.
Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?
Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.
Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?
Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.
People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.
Can The Virus Be Spread To Other Body Areas
Yes, you can spread herpes to other areas of your own body but it is unlikely.
One kind of complication involves spreading the virus from the location of an outbreak to other places on the body by touching the infection and then transferring the virus particles via the finger and forming herpes whitlow or ocular herpes, and other body areas can accidentally become infected in this way.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Genital Herpes
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
- Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD
- Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that are covered by a latex condom. Also, herpes virus can be released from areas of the skin that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.
If you are in a relationship with a person known to have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting genital herpes if:
- Your partner takes an anti-herpes medication every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her doctor.
Alternative Treatments For Facial Herpes
In addition to home remedies, there are other alternative treatments. These include the use of cold sore treatment devices that concentrate heat and kill the virus in the area of the outbreak.
Another alternative treatment to remove facial herpes is the use of natural patches, creams, and ointments in which tea tree ointment is included. This is sold in stores in different countries. None of these options eliminates the virus from your body its action is only in the area of the outbreak.
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How To Diagnose Herpes Infections
Diagnosis of herpes infections is done by following methods-
- Physical examination- Here the doctor does a thorough physical examination, checks the mouth, lips and genital areas for sores. Doctors may ask questions about the symptoms and a detailed medical history, to identify the cause and type of viral infection.
- HSV testing Also known as herpes culture test, here the doctor takes a swab sample of the fluid from the blister or sores present in the oral cavity or genitals and sends it for lab tests. This is to identify the virus causing the infections.
- Blood tests This is done to find the presence of antibodies . This helps to identify the infections in patients who dont have any sores or blisters.
Risk For Genital Herpes
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 6 Americans ages 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. While HSV-2 remains the main cause of genital herpes, HSV-1 has significantly increased as a cause, most likely because of oral-genital sex. Except for people in monogamous relationships with uninfected partners, everyone who is sexually active is at risk for genital herpes.
Risk factors for genital herpes include:
- History of an STD
- First sexual intercourse at an early age
- High number of sexual partners
- Low socioeconomic status
Women are more susceptible to HSV-2 infection because herpes is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men. About 1 in 5 women, compared to 1 in 9 men, have genital herpes. African-American women are at particularly high risk.
People with compromised immune systems, such as those who have HIV, are at very high risk for genital herpes. These people are also at risk for more severe complications from herpes. Drugs that suppress the immune system, and organ transplantation, can also weaken the immune system and increase the risk for contracting genital herpes.
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Nih Researchers Show How Anti
Newfound effectiveness of tenofovir due to higher concentrations in vaginal gel form.
An anti-HIV drug also discovered to stop the spread of the genital herpes virus does so by disabling a key DNA enzyme of the herpes virus, according to findings by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
The study was published online in Cell Host and Microbes and was conducted by researchers at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium the University of Rome Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, Calif and the NIHs Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development .
The findings explain the results of a recent clinical trial showing that the anti-HIV drug tenofovir, when it is formulated as a vaginal gel, could reduce the risk of herpes simplex virus infections as well as HIV infections in women.
Tenofovir taken orally had been demonstrated to inhibit reproduction of HIV, but had not been known to block the genital herpes virus.
Discoveries leading to new uses for previously approved drugs have the potential to save millions of dollars, Dr. Margolis said. New drugs typically undergo years of testing for safety and effectiveness before they are approved for patients. Finding new uses for an approved drug increases the value of the initial investment in testing, because most of the testing has previously been completed.
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Are Cold Sores Contagious
The question ‘how are cold sores spread?’ is one of the most frequently asked questions about these painful, fluid-filled blisters that appear around the mouth and lips. Knowing how cold sores are spread, why cold sores are so contagious and when they are serious can help reduce your risk of a cold sore outbreak and prevent spreading cold sores to others.
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Should You Get Tested
Its a good idea for the partners of people with genital herpes to have a blood test for herpes antibodies. This can help them to decide whether to use antiviral medication as protection, for example. Both partners may already have the same virus type. Then theres no reason to take medication to protect each other.
If one of the partners has HSV-1 or cold sores and the other one has HSV-2 or genital herpes, they could infect one another with the other virus. If one partner has herpes viruses in their body and the other doesnt, condoms are one way to prevent infection.