Sunday, January 22, 2023

What Do I Need To Know About Herpes

People Have Hsv 1 And People Have Hsv 2

What You Need to Know About Genital Herpes

So with that being said the majority of the population has herpes. The funny thing is that when you get herpes you become the majority not the majority. Were made to believe that because we have herpes were the only person in the world who has herpes and no bode ever will understand or want to be with us. But the truth is that 84% of the population has herpes.

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.

When To See A Doctor

Because a person might not have symptoms even if they have herpes, it can be difficult to know when to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Planned Parenthood recommends that a person see a healthcare professional as soon as they notice sores on or around their genitals. Other STIs, such as syphilis, can have similar symptoms but require different treatment. The American Sexual Health Association also recommends seeing a doctor to get a culture of any lesion or cold sore a person notices.

People may wish to take an at-home STI test before seeing a doctor. However, at-home tests should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment.

  • applying aloe vera gel to sores
  • applying petroleum jelly to the affected areas
  • wearing loose clothing to avoid irritation
  • refraining from sexual activity, even with protection, until symptoms have gone
  • applying a cream or lotion to the urethra before urinating, such as one that contains lidocaine

Some people find that using ice packs help. However, never apply ice directly to the skin wrap it in a cloth first.

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Heres Why Doctors Dont Usually Test For Herpes

Its basically a SELF mantra at this point: Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections is hella important. Is it the most delightful way to spend your time? No. Is it a vital part of looking after your health, sexual and otherwise? Absolutely.

When you go in for routine STI testing, you might realize that your doctor doesnt test you for herpes. Whats that about? As it turns out, testing for herpes isnt as straightforward as testing for something like chlamydia or gonorrhea. Here, doctors explain why herpes isnt usually included on STI panels.

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How Will My Doctor Know If I Have Herpes

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Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies. Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for herpes or 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 how long you have been infected.

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Is There Anything I Can Do To Relieve The Symptoms Myself

In some women, genital herpes blisters cause pain when urinating . Many of them find it soothing to pee while sitting in warm, shallow water . You can do this using special tubs that fit into toilet bowls. They are available at a reasonable price, for instance from pharmacies or on the internet. Itâs best not to use soaps or bath additives because they can irritate the affected area even more. Other things you can do to avoid irritating it further include wearing loose-fitting clothes and underwear made out of fabrics that have a smooth surface.

Painkillers such as ibuprofen are an option if the blisters become very painful.

Topical antiviral treatments such as creams or ointments donât provide any relief, but they can increase the risk of viral resistance. Experts advise against using topical treatments for genital herpes.

What Is The Link Between Genital Herpes And Hiv

Genital herpes is associated with a 2- to 3-fold increased risk for HIV infection. Studies have also suggested that this may be caused as HSV-2 lesions create an ideal scenario for the rapid spread of HIV infection, with the virus being able to replicate 3 to 5 times faster in tissue which suffered from HSV lesions, even after being treated with i.e. acyclovir.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Simplex

Many people with the infection never experience any herpes symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, youll experience them differently depending on whether youre having your first herpes outbreak or a repeat outbreak. Recurring symptoms are usually milder than the first outbreak. Symptoms dont last as long with later outbreaks. Some people may only have one or two outbreaks during their lifetime. Others may have as many as four or five outbreaks a year.

People who do have herpes symptoms may experience:

  • Cold sores around their lips, mouth or tongue. They may look crusty or like fluid-filled blisters.
  • Tingling, itching or burning.
  • Pain while urinating.

Im Pregnant What Do I Need To Know

Herpes simplex (Cold sore): All you need to know

To get the best care, tell your doctor you have genital herpes, because it could make you more likely to have a miscarriage or give birth too soon.

Its possible to pass along the virus to your baby. For infants, it can be life-threatening. Your doctor can talk to you about how to lower the chances that this will happen.

If you have an outbreak while youre pregnant, your doctor can give you medicine to treat your symptoms and stop them sooner.

Your doctor may give you a drug to prevent an outbreak as your due date gets closer. This is because your baby could get herpes by passing through your birth canal if youre having an outbreak when you go into labor. If thats a possibility, your doctor will most likely want to do a C-section, which is surgery to deliver the baby.

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Herpes Can Happen To Anyone

Did you know that the virus that causes cold sores or fever blisters on or around the mouth can also infect other areas of the body? The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus. And its very common.

Most people with herpes infection dont even know it. They may not have symptoms or not notice them.

For people who do have symptoms, a herpes infection may show up as one or more blisters. These can be on or near the mouth, eyes, genitals, or rectum. After the blisters break, they turn into sores or ulcers. These sores are painful and take about a week to heal.

Once someone is infected with herpes simplex, the virus goes into hiding and stays in the body for the rest of their lives. The virus can re-emerge at any time and cause an outbreak. Some people have outbreaks several times per year. Tingling or burning in the area can signal that an outbreak is looming.

There are two types of herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is often transmitted during childhood. You can get it from close contact with someone who has the infection. For example, a family member with a cold sore may kiss a child. HSV-1 is the main cause of herpes of the mouth or eyes. Although its possible for HSV-2 to infect the mouth or eyes, its usually found in the genital area.

Theres no cure for herpes. But anti-herpes medicine can speed healing of the sores. If taken every day, this medicine can also lower the risk of future outbreaks.

Help Fight the Stigma of Herpes

Send The Message Before You Have Sex

The conversation needs to happen before having sex and hopefully not in the heat of the moment. Alexandra Harbushka, founder of Life With Herpes and spokesperson for Meet People With Herpes, says a great way to lead with the topic is talking about both parties sexual health, and insisting that you both get tested.

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Type : Herpes Simplex Also Known As A Cold Sore

Did you know that 80 percent of American adults have HSV1? It is so common that when you take a routine test for sexually transmitted infections , the HSV1 isnt included in the panel because its so widespread. A nurse told me that its not considered important enough of an infection. They dont recommend testing without symptoms. The joke is that most people are asymptomatic, which means they are a carrier of the virus and could potentially transmit it to a partner because they are unaware they have it.

Interestingly theres a common belief that if youve got herpes type 1, you are better than someone with herpes type 2. While mucous membranes are more prone to the virus, they are not the only areas that can get infected. Places like the thighs, the nose, or the sacrum can show signs of infection.

Many dont know that HSV-1 can also show up on the genitals. Cold sores on the mouth are commonly transmitted to the genitals, causing genital herpes, through oral-to-genital sex. HSV-1 causes up to 40 percent of genital herpes.

Shingles On Your Face

Genital Herpes

Shingles usually occurs on one side of your back or chest, but you can also get a rash on one side of your face.

If the rash is close to or in your ear, it can cause an infection that could lead to:

  • loss of hearing
  • issues with your balance
  • weakness in your facial muscles

Shingles inside your mouth can be very painful. It may be difficult to eat and may affect your sense of taste.

A shingles rash on your scalp can cause sensitivity when you comb or brush your hair. Without treatment, shingles on the scalp can lead to permanent bald patches.

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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.

How Is Herpes Simplex Treated

Some people have few to no herpes outbreaks and choose not to have treatment. But many people prefer to use medications that shorten outbreaks and reduce symptoms.

During an outbreak, you may use an antiviral ointment or cream to help lessen your symptoms and help them go away faster, but it only works if you start it soon after you start an outbreak. Many people with HSV-2 take daily oral medications to keep outbreaks at bay.

Your provider may prescribe a topical medication or oral medication such as:

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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.

Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex

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There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.

What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?

For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.

Herpes infection doesnt usually pose a serious health risk. The risk of a health complication due to herpes is higher in infants and if you have HIV/AIDS, cancer or an organ transplant.

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Staying Safe While Avoiding Panic And Stigma

It can be tempting to freak out a little bit when you realize that herpes is both super-common and something you arent routinely getting tested for. So how do you process that information?

The first step is practicing the same safe sex that you know helps protect you from other STIs. Your best bet here is a barrier method like internal and external condoms for any penetration and physical shields such as dental dams for any oral play. Even though this wont fully protect you from herpes , it will reduce how much of your skin touches your partners.

This is why screening for herpes infection in the absence of any symptoms wouldnt really do much to cut back on casesthe advice would be the same: Practice safe sex with barrier methods. I agree right now with the recommendations not to screen people, but I think if we had a better diagnostic strategy, I would be much more in favor of routine screenings, Dr. Johnston says. It is important for people to know their status so they can protect themselves and their partners.

If you think you have herpes, see a doctor such as your ob/gyn or dermatologist , or go to your local health clinic. A medical expert can evaluate your symptoms, take samples for testing, and eventually offer treatment options if you need them.

You will likely be started on antiviral medications to help you heal faster and make you less contagious, Dr. Bard says.

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When Treatments For Genital Herpes Are Given

  • Initial treatment. If you have symptoms such as sores when youâre 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 donât 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.

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Does A Cold Sore On My Mouth Mean I Have Genital Herpes

No, a cold sore on your mouth usually means you have herpes simplex virus type 1 . You can get HSV-1 by kissing someone or sharing utensils, towels, razors, or lipstick with someone who has HSV-1.

HSV-1 cannot turn into HSV-2 , but you can get a cold sore on your mouth from HSV-2 if you give oral sex to someone with HSV-2. Cold sores caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 are contagious. You can spread it to other people or other parts of your body if you touch an open sore and then touch another part of your body. That means if you have a cold sore and give oral sex to someone, that person will get the herpes virus on his or her genitals.

Avoid touching your cold sore as much as possible. If you touch your cold sore, wash your hands right away to avoid spreading the infection to other parts of your body or other people.

I Had Lesions When I Was Evaluated But My Culture Was Negative Does This Mean That I Dont Have Herpes

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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.

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