Is There Any Resistance To Genital Herpes Medication
Resistance to drugs that treat genital herpes even after 20 years of use is very rare. Herpes medications may not work as well in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been treated with these drugs for a long time. Each individuals response to treatment may vary. In some cases, patients may need more drugs to suppress their viral outbreaks than others.
There Are 2 Herpes Simplex Viruses That Can Cause Infection
- One causes most genital herpes.
- The other virus can also cause genital herpes but more often causes blisters of the mouth and lips.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 1 out of 6 people ages 14 to 49have genital herpes.
Women are more easily infected with herpes than men.
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.
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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.
Most People Get Hsv1 As A Child
Oral HSV-1 is often the most easily acquired herpes infection. Usually the first herpes simplex virus that people encounter, oral HSV-1, is typically spread simply by the kind of social kiss that a relative gives a child. Because children have no prior infection with any HSV type, they have no immune defense against the virus.
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Sexual Ways You Can Transmit Herpes Other Than Sex
Weve all heard the saying people talk about sexual diseases and dont catch one. Were taught in sex ed or maybe were taught that having sex can lead to STIs, in our case herpes and other things. And so with that said we go out into the world and become sexually active and think that the only way we can get something is by having sex. The other big thing were told is that if you use a condom then youre fine but thats another whole topic.
Sotoday I want to talk about ways herpes can be transmitted to protect you and youre partners.
Before we go into the sexual ways herpes can be transmitted let’s do a little breakdown on why and how herpes is transmitted.
Also if you want to get the full deets on herpes you can .
Herpes is a virus and its skin to skin transmission. So, in other words, you catch herpes from touching someone else who has the herpes virus. Dont freak out, this does not mean that if you touch someone youll immediately get herpes or if you have herpes you can never have human contact again. What it means is if you touch someone in the area that the person is infected in then youre at a pretty high risk of contracting the herpes virus.
So for example, if you have genital herpes and you hug someone then you are not at risk of transmitting herpes. Unless, of course, you used your genitals to hug someone…lol. So does that make sense?
Recurrent Episodes Of Genital Herpes
Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode of genital herpes. Over time, episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.
Recurrences may be triggered by:
- no apparent reason noted.
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Genital Herpes And Pregnancy
Women with herpes before pregnancy can usually expect to have a healthy baby and a vaginal delivery.
If you have genital herpes during pregnancy, there’s a risk your baby could develop a serious illness called neonatal herpes.
This can be fatal, but most babies recover with antiviral treatment.
The risk of your baby getting neonatal herpes is low if you have had genital herpes before.
It’s higher if you get genital herpes for the first time in pregnancy.
What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic
The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:
- ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
- use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing
The test cannot:
- be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
- tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from
Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after youre infected with the herpes virus.
Common Ways You Can Get An Std Without Having Sex
A common misconception that people have about sexually transmitted diseases is that they can only be contracted through sexual intercourse. While it is undoubtedly the primary method of contracting a disease, there are more than a handful of ways someone can put themselves at risk of infection.
Not all STDs require physical contact for the virus to spread from the infected to another person. There are specific illnesses that can be passed on through seemingly harmless ways. Let us share 4 ways an STD can be transmitted so you can better protect yourself and avoid these situations.
1. Through kissing
Even something as simple and innocent as a kiss can be potentially dangerous. There are several STDs, such as oral herpes, syphilis and cytomegalovirus, which can be transmitted through the exchange of saliva. Although kissing is generally considered a low-risk activity when it comes to contracting STDs, its still best to exercise caution and avoid expressing your love with a kiss until you are familiar with your partners sexual history.
2. From oral sex
3. With just a touch
It may seem harmless initially, but skin-to-skin contact may be all that is required to transmit certain STDs, such as herpes or Human Papillomavirus . If both parties have open wounds, the virus can spread from the infected to their partner as long as there is skin contact.
4. When borrowing a shave
What Is Genital Herpes Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. More than one in every six people between ages 14 and 49 living in the United States has genital herpes.
Most people infected with herpes dont even know it. They dont know because the infection often has no symptoms, very mild symptoms, or symptoms that mimic other health or skin problems. But the infection can cause small, painful sores to form on the genitals, thighs, or buttocks. If sores do arise, they typically go away within two to three weeks, but the virus stays in the body for life.
Lots and lots of people live normal, healthy lives with herpes, with some small degree of attention to protecting their partners during outbreaks, says I. Cori Baill, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist and an associate professor at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Florida.
Genital herpes can be treated, but it cant be cured. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to prevent giving it to other people.
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Can Genital Herpes Come Back
Yes. Genital herpes symptoms can come and go, but the virus stays inside your body even after all signs of the infection have gone away. The virus becomes âactiveâ from time to time, leading to an outbreak. Some people have outbreaks only once or twice. Other people may have four or five outbreaks within a year. Over time, the outbreaks usually happen less often and are less severe.
Experts do not know what causes the virus to become active. Some women say the virus comes back when they are sick, under stress, out in the sun, or during their period.
Black And Hispanic Communities And Genital Herpes
Black Americans and Hispanic Americans have higher rates of STDs generally when compared with white Americans. This isnt because of ethnicity or race instead, social conditions such as poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and fear of discrimination from doctors and other healthcare providers all play part in the disparity.
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How Is Genital Herpes Spread
- Saliva from a partner with an oral herpes infection
- Genital fluids from a partner with a genital herpes infection
- Skin in the oral area of a partner with oral herpes or
- Skin in the genital area of a partner with genital herpes.
You also can get genital herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or is unaware of their infection. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes.
You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools. You also will not get it from touching objects, such as silverware, soap, or towels.
If you have more questions about herpes, consider discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider.
How Do People Get Genital Herpes
People can get infected with genital herpes when the virus comes into contact with a break in the skin in or around the mouth or genital area. This can happen when:
- They receive oral sex from a partner who has oral herpes .
- They touch a herpes sore and then touch their own genitals.
- Their genitals touch the skin in the genital area of someone who is infected .
Genital herpes can spread even if there are no sores because the virus is still in the body. The virus can be in the skin near the genitals and infect another person during sexual contact.
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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.
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Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic
You can see a GP, but they’ll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.
Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.
Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.
They’ll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.
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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 .
How Effective Is Medication At Preventing Infection
If you have genital herpes, you will probably be somewhat less likely to infect your partner if you use antiviral medication for prevention. The medications used for this purpose include aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. They must be taken every day over a long period of time, though. One study showed that over a period of eight months,
- 4 out of 100 people became infected when the partner with the virus took a placebo, and
- 2 out of 100 people became infected when the partner with the virus took antiviral medication every day.
These couples were also advised to use condoms as well but many didn’t use them consistently. So its not clear whether taking antiviral medication can lower the risk of infection even further if you always use condoms anyway, or whether using condoms is just as effective on its own.
Whether or not you would like to use preventive medication is ultimately an individual decision. Many factors can play a role, such as how long you or your partner have had the infection, how frequent and severe the outbreaks are, whether you are male or female, the frequency of sexual contact and whether you use condoms.
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How Do You Know If You Have Genital Herpes
The only way to know if you have genital herpes is by amedical exam. Your health care provider can examineyou and test for it. Lab samples are taken from a sore,blister, or blood. Your health care provider may ask totest you for other infections at the same time.
Tell current and most recent sex partners of your herpes infection.
Ways You Can Catch An Sti Without Having Sex
All STIs and STDs are passed sexually, right? Wrong. In addition to transmission through sexual intercourse, there are other ways in which infections can be passed which you should be aware of. Whether an STI is passed sexually or non-sexually, it will have the same consequences if left untreated.
Maybe youre aware that sexually transmitted infections can be passed in varying ways, or maybe this is new to you. Either way, its worth reading up on other ways in which STIs can be transmitted. The more clued up you are about how infections can be contracted, the easier it is to know how to take care of your sexual health and keep yourself safe.
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Is Genital Herpes Related To Shingles
Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus , which causes chickenpox earlier in life. The natural history of varicella zoster infection is similar to genital herpes infection in that VZV also becomes latent in the sensory nerve roots. Later in life the virus may exit, causing shingles.
Recurrences in shingles cause blister lesions in a single area of skin called a dermatome. Shingles is not a sexually transmitted infection and is independent from genital herpes.
Touching Your Eye During Sexual Activity
If you have a sexual fluid on your fingertips during intimate activity, and then you accidentally touch your eyeball, its possible to contract an STD such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpes. However, this type of transmission is more likely to occur from a mother to a baby, during childbirth, according to the CDC.
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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
For more information, see Safer Sex.
Are You More Likely To Contract Hsv Through Oral Or Penetrative Sex
Penetration using a sex toy can also cause genital herpes, which is why experts usually advise against sharing toys.
You probably wont know youve contracted herpes until you have an outbreak, which is the case for most people who have it.
HSV-1 can be asymptomatic or cause very mild symptoms that can be easy to miss.
An outbreak can cause cold sores or blisters in and around your mouth. Some people notice tingling, burning, or itching in the area before sores appear.
If you contract genital herpes caused by HSV-1, you may develop one or more sores or blisters in your genital or area.
Genital herpes caused by HSV-2 can also be asymptomatic or cause mild symptoms that you may not notice. If you do develop symptoms, the first outbreak is often more severe than subsequent outbreaks.
You may experience:
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