How Can I Prevent Genital Herpes
If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from herpes virus and other STIs:
- Be monogamous with one sexual partner or limit your number of partners.
- Get tested for STIs and complete any needed treatment.
- Tell your sexual partners if you have genital herpes so they can get tested.
- Use condoms, including dental dams during oral sex.
- Wash your hands often if you have an outbreak or are around someone with symptoms.
If your sexual partner has genital herpes, these actions can lower your risk of getting the virus:
- Dont have sex when your partner has active symptoms.
- Make sure your partner takes antiviral medication as prescribed.
- Wait to have sex until scabs fall off.
You May Like: What Medication Is Used To Treat Herpes
Risk Factors And Complications
Many people are exposed to HSV-1 as children, often between the ages of 6 months and 3 years old.
There are more specific risk factors for genital herpes. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- Are assigned female at birth
- Have had many sexual partners
- Had sex for the first time at a young age
- Have had another STI
How Can Males Test For Herpes
Symptoms of herpes in men can be difficult to put down to herpes. This is because signs of herpes can often overlap with other STIs. Consideration should be taken if irritation or redness begins to develop in the genital areas. One should ask a healthcare provider for an examination in the event of symptoms or after coming into contact with someone infected with an STI.
It is likely that your healthcare provider will ask you to carry out a genital herpes test, which involves taking a swab from an open sore. The accuracy of results is determined by the quality of the sample. Symptoms of herpes in men must be prevalent in order to ascertain a positive test result, as asymptomatic individuals will not have blisters from which a sample can be taken. The male herpes test does not differ from methods utilised by women in determining HSV-2 infection.
If you are not able to get a quick appointment with your doctor, you may wish to take a picture of your herpes sores. If you are waiting a few weeks for an appointment, there is a good chance that the outbreak will have healed by then so pictures are a good way to help your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
Read Also: Why Do I Have Herpes
How Does Herpes Simplex Spread
Herpes spreads through close contact with a person who has the infection. The virus can be found in skin and saliva. If you have herpes simplex, you are most likely to pass the virus to another person when you have sores. But you can infect someone else even if you have no symptoms. Healthcare providers call this asymptomatic viral shedding.
People may get HSV-1 through
- Touching a persons skin near the mouth.
- Sharing food utensils, lip balm or razors.
- If you receive oral sex from someone who has a cold sore, it may spread a herpes infection to your genitals.
People may get HSV-2 through
- Oral sex with someone whos infected.
- Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
- Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
- Childbirth by a mother or gestational parent who has an active infection.
You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.
How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed
The best way to find out if you have genital herpes is to have a sexual health check-up. This may involve a physical examination and a swab from the affected area to test for HSV. To confirm genital herpes the lab needs to find herpes simplex virus types 1 or 2 on a swab.
Diagnosis is easier if early ulcers or blisters are present.
Because it is possible to have another STI at the same time, a full sexual health check-up should be done.
Sexual contacts should be informed of the diagnosis and it may be advisable for them to have a sexual health check-up.
Also Check: How To Stop Genital Herpes Outbreak
When Treatments For Genital Herpes Are Given
- Initial treatment. If you have symptoms such as sores when you’re first diagnosed with genital herpes, your doctor will usually give you a brief course of antiviral therapy to relieve them or prevent them from getting worse. Your doctor may keep you on the drugs longer if the sores don’t heal in that time.
After the first treatment, work with your doctor to come up with the best way to take antiviral therapies. There are two options:
- Intermittent treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for you to keep on hand in case you have another flare-up this is called intermittent therapy. You can take the pills for two to five days as soon as you notice sores or when you feel an outbreak coming on. Sores will heal and disappear on their own, but taking the drugs can make the symptoms less severe and make them go away faster.
- Suppressive treatment. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to consider taking an antiviral drug every day. Doctors call this suppressive therapy. For someone who has more than six outbreaks a year, suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks by 70% to 80%. Many people who take the antiviral drugs daily have no outbreaks at all.
There is no set number of outbreaks per year that doctors use to decide when someone should start suppressive therapy. Rather, more important factors are how often the outbreaks happen and if they are severe enough to interfere with your life.
Facts About Herpes Simplex 2
Herpes simplex 2 causes a chronic viral infection. Practically, the virus is transmitted from one person to another upon sexual and even nonsexual but physical contact, thereby undergoing incubation and causing an outbreak followed by a subsiding of the symptoms only to cause a remission and then several outbreaks but with reducing severity.
It may seem that the symptoms have completely subsided over a period of time and one may feel cured of herpes. But the virus continues to live on in the human body and can get triggered through incubation in the future. Hence, it is medically known as a chronic infection or condition. It is hard to say if someone is completely cured of herpes without any treatment.
The virus may live for the entire lifetime of the host and not cause any further outbreak if there is no incubation. With no vaccine for herpes simplex 2 and no medicine having any effect on the elimination of the virus, it remains a chronic condition without any cure in traditional medicine.
Read Also: What Is Good For Genital Herpes
First And Subsequent Episodes
The first genital herpes outbreak will generally be worse than the ones that follow. During a first outbreak, the appearance of lesions will often be accompanied by:
- Pain or burning with urination
- Unusual vaginal discharge
Subsequent attacks tend to be shorter and less severe. They are often preceded by genital pain or shooting pain in the legs, hip, or buttocks several hours or days before the attack.
Over time, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease and become less severe.
What Is The Herpes Virus
Herpes is a virus that causes skin sores. The medical term for it is the Herpes Simplex Virus . It most commonly produces sores on the mouth or genitals.
Herpes is very common and doesnt usually cause severe health problems. However, it is very contagious and there is no cure.
Don’t Miss: How To Tell If You Have Herpes At Home
A Cure For Herpes There Is Progress To Report
It takes a persistent scientist to stop a persistent virus.
A decade ago, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center virologist Dr. Keith Jerome began exploring the idea that lifelong infections with herpes viruses might be cured by using the DNA-cutting tools of gene therapy.
Initial research showed these techniques could knock out small quantities of latent virus, and the work of improving the results fell to Jeromeâs senior staff scientist, Dr. Martine Aubert. Five years ago, the team reported they had damaged the genes of 2%-4% of herpes virus in infected mice. Aubertâs work was an important proof of principle, but far short of a cure.
Nevertheless, she persisted.
On Aug. 18, the team led by Jerome and Aubert published a paper in Nature Communications showing that, through a series of incremental improvements on their original method, they had destroyed up to 95% of herpes virus lurking in certain nerve clusters of mice.
âThis is the first time that anybody has been able to go in and actually eliminate most of herpes in a body,â said Jerome, who is also spearheading research at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington on COVID-19. âIt is a completely different approach to herpes therapy than anybodyâs ever had before.â
Dont Just Cure The Itch Cure Your Herpes Forever
The amount of treatment options available for herpes is extensive. You wont be at a loss for finding ways to take away the itchiness and painful sores that accompany herpes 2 outbreaks.
The thing that you want to remember is that a treatment for herpes is just that a treatment.
Its not a long-term solution to the problem!
Wouldnt it be more ideal to be able to rid yourself from the pain, inconvenience, and embarrassment of HSV-2 once and for all? Instead of entering into a life filled with pills, ointments, and creams, wouldnt it be better to completely erase the virus from your body? Rather than searching the internet for natural herpes treatments, wouldnt you want a natural herpes 2 cure?
A cure is different than a treatment. A treatment takes away the symptoms. A cure takes away the virus.
No more itching, burning, or unsightly sores. No more embarrassing conversations or inconvenient outbreaks. You didnt do anything wrong by contracting genital herpes. You dont deserve to lead a life of unpredictable suffering and negative stigma from others.
You Need a Natural Herpes Type 2 Cure. You need the CURE now!
To find out how to stop treating your herpes and how to get on the road to quickly and naturally curing your herpes-2, download Herpes Cure Secret e-book.
Stop living with herpes
Also Check: Should I Get Tested For Herpes Without Symptoms
What Causes Symptoms To Come Back
When symptoms recur, they usually come on during times of emotional stress or illness. Thatâs because, during these times, your bodyâs immune system may be less able to suppress the virus and keep it from becoming active.
Symptom triggers can include:
- Interfere with a personâs sense of security and intimacy
In some cases, though, complications from genital herpes can be serious, even life-threatening.
Although itâs rare, pregnant women can pass on the herpes infection to their child. This can result in a serious and sometimes deadly infection in the baby. Thatâs why taking steps to prevent an outbreak at time of delivery is recommended starting at 34 weeks into the pregnancy. If you have signs of an active viral infection when itâs time to deliver, your doctor will likely recommend a cesarean section for delivery.
If you have any reason to believe you may have an HSV infection as the result of a sexual encounter â either genital or oral â contact your health care provider.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Find Out If You Have Herpes
How Effective Are Medications For Herpes
Prescription antiviral medications have proven effectiveness in managing HSV symptoms.
A 2017 study comparing the antiviral medications acyclovir, famciclovir, penciclovir and valacyclovir to treat herpes simplex labialis found all antiviral medications were effective to shorten healing time for lesions and reducing pain. The comparison study found valacyclovir had the fastest healing time and pain reduction.
The Science Behind The Hunt For A Herpes Cure
Wilder: I read that you started thinking up a possible cure for herpes around 10 years ago.
Jerome: Well, that was when I first became aware of what today has become an area of research that we call gene editing. A lot of your readers may have heard of a particular type of gene editing protein called CRISPR. Its made a lot of news over the past two or three years — including the lay press, not just the scientific literature. But, actually, CRISPR is only one type of protein for gene editing. There are other types, as well.
When I first became aware of that, I realized that gene editing proteins have the unique capability of very specifically looking for the DNAthe stuff of lifeof, in this case, a virus, and ignore everything else. I realized that gene editing proteins could actually find an infectionwhether it was HIV, herpes, or hepatitis Bdestroy that DNA, and leave the rest of the body alone.
Remember that these sleeping viruses that I mentioned are long-lived forms of DNA within the body. So if we could destroy the viruses in a very selective manner, we might have a possibility to think about cure.
Wilder: As you mentioned, the current drugs that are prescribed dont get rid of the latent virus. What is it about this virus that makes it so challenging to eliminate?
Jerome: Once the virus goes to sleep in the nerve cells, it coils itself up into a little circle. In a lot of ways, that little circle looks a lot like our own DNA.
You May Like: What Are Signs Of Herpes Virus
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.
What’s Involved In Herpes Testing
If there are blisters or sores, a healthcare provider may gently swab the area to take a fluid sample and test it. If there are no sores, but you are concerned you may have been exposed, a blood test may done. Herpes tests are not normally recommended unless you have symptoms.
Read Also: What Do You Do If You Have Herpes
Treatment For Genital Herpes
There is no medication to cure your body of the herpes virus. Treatment is aimed at easing symptoms, reducing the frequency of recurrences and reducing transmission.
Symptoms can be improved by:
- ice packs to the affected area
- pain-relieving medication such as paracetamol
- antiviral medication such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. These can reduce the severity of an episode if taken early enough . Topical antivirals usually used for cold sores on the lips or face are not suitable for use on the genitals.
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.
You May Like: What Does Herpes Look Like On Buttocks
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.