Does My Healthcare Provider Include A Blood Test For Genital Herpes When They Test Me For Everything
Herpes blood tests may or may not be part of the tests your healthcare provider gives you. They may choose tests based on several factors .
They will also evaluate you for signs or symptoms of herpes to choose which tests to use. This is why its important to talk openly and honestly with your provider during your visit. Ask them which infections they are and are not testing you for and why.
Symptoms Of Feline Herpes
There are a few symptoms that are commonly associated with feline herpes, including sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and fever. However, these symptoms can be easily confused with other respiratory infections, so it is important to take your cat to the veterinarian for a diagnosis.
The Feline Herpes virus or Feline Rhinotracheitis virus is a very common viral infection in cats. It is possible for a cat to be infected for weeks or even years before becoming carrier. Many multi-cat households, breeding facilities, rescues, and outdoor cat parks are more likely to be infected with the disease. In the unfortunate cat, an infection with herpesvirus can cause pneumonia. This cases prognosis is good for the most part. The cats can become extremely sensitive to both nasal passage changes and oral cavity ulcers. If you receive veterinary attention when you begin to notice signs of this, you can avoid it.
Can The Herpes Virus Spread If There Are No Symptoms
The herpes virus can occasionally be spread when there are no symptoms due to a phenomena known as Viral Shedding.
It is possible for a person to carry the herpes virus without knowing that they have it, in fact, up to 80% of people who are infected with HSV-2 show no signs of the infection. So it is possible for a person to unwittingly transmit the infection to their partner.
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What Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by one of the two types of the herpes simplex virus : herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 . Most Canadians will have at least one type of HSV in their lifetime. While herpes is very common, it also carries a lot of stigma that can lead to anxiety, fear and misinformation about herpes.
For many people, herpes is a minor skin condition that comes and goes without causing problems. As a result, many people may not be aware that they have the virus.
What Should I Do If I Have Genital Herpes
If you have genital herpes:
- See a doctor or nurse as soon as possible for testing and treatment.
- Take all of the medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antiviral medicine.
- Tell your sex partner so they can be tested and treated if necessary.
- Avoid any sexual contact while you are being treated for genital herpes or while you have an outbreak.
- Remember that genital herpes is a lifelong disease. Even though you may not have a genital herpes outbreak for long periods of time, you can still pass the virus to another person at any time. Talk with your doctor or nurse about how to prevent passing the virus to another person.
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How Can I Lower My Chance Of Passing Or Getting Herpes
Condoms offer good protection, but do not completely prevent the spread of herpes because they do not cover the whole genital area. Condoms can also be used on sex toys. Abstain from sex or avoid skin-to-skin contact in the area of the herpes sores if you are sexual during an outbreak. Dental dams can also be used as a barrier during oral sex. Talk to your health care provider about suppressive therapy to help prevent passing the virus to your partner. Wash your hands if you have touched the blisters to prevent transferring the virus to another person . Talk to your partner about herpes before you have sexual contact.
Learn How To Date With Herpes
Yes, you can still date, and quite successfully too. This is all about confidence, self-respect, and honesty. Once you have come to terms with the diagnosis, it will be easier to inform and reassure potential partners about it without scaring them away. Thats because, believe it or not, its your attitude and feelings about it that will come across the most.
Now heres the facts: You do have to inform your partners before intimacy happens. But it doesnt have to be as hard as it seems. There is a right way to tell someone you have herpes: Calmly, informatively, and aware. Let them know that having sex with you doesnt necessarily mean they will get it. Let them know the herpes transmission rates when using forms of protection like taking Valtrax and using condoms. Theyre surprisingly low.
Of course, if youd like to avoid having the talk, you can do that too by dating people who have herpes. Thats because there are herpes dating sites you can use, in particular Positive Singles, which you can read more about here.
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What Can I Give My Cat For Herpes
This type of antiviral treatment is based on a systemic approach. The cat is treated with a human anti-herpes antiviral drug known as famciclovir, which has been shown to be safe in cats. It is administered orally, in addition to being beneficial in the management of severe infections.
Lysine Supplementation For Cats With Herpesvirus
Despite the lack of evidence supporting lysine supplementation as a safe and effective treatment for feline herpesvirus 1 infection prevention or treatment, there are some cats who may benefit from this treatment. Lysine is a low-cost supplement that can be purchased at most pet stores. Consuming lysine may help alleviate the symptoms of infection, such as a high fever, discharge from the eyes, or sneezing. Although there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for herpes, it is best to consult a veterinarian if your cat is experiencing symptoms and may require treatment.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What happens if I dont treat a cold sore?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I lookout for signs of complications?
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What Treatment Is Available For Genital Herpes
Though genital herpes is not curable, it can be managed. Your physician may prescribe an antiviral medication, including acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir, to use during an outbreak. Over-the-counter pain medication can also be used to soothe symptoms. Your physician can provide advice on how to prevent transmission of the virus to sexual partners along with suggestions about how to discuss the topic of genital herpes openly.
How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.
If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.
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Can I Be Treated To Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission To My Partner
Yes. A large study showed that if one partner has herpes and the other partner is uninfected, treating the infected partner with suppressive therapy can prevent transmission of symptomatic herpes in over 90% of cases. This is an option for couples who are interested in having unprotected sex or who are planning to become pregnant.
If you are entering into a new relationship and are aware that you have herpes simplex infection, you owe it to your partner to notify them before having sex.
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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When To See A Healthcare Provider
The early recognition of genital herpes, ideally during the prodromal stage, allows you to access treatments that can shorten the duration and severity of an outbreak.
Clearly, this can be difficult during your first outbreak, given that you probably won’t be expecting it. But, over time, you will be better able to recognize the tell-tale signs and know when it’s time to act.
How Do I Talk With People About Having Herpes
It might feel scary to admit you have herpes, but talking about things can really ease your mind. You could lean on a close, non-judgmental friend that you trust to keep the conversation private. Parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and other family members can also be a source of comfort. Remember, herpes is really common, so its possible the person youre talking to has herpes, too.
There are a lot of online support groups for people who have herpes, and the American Sexual Health Association has a list of support groups that meet in person.
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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.
Dont Be Afraid To Get Emotionally Intimate
An open and honest conversation about your diagnosis can require emotional intimacy that may be scary to have in a new relationship. Harbushka says to relax and realize that it can be sexy to communicate with your partner about sex and other important intimate topics.
With the right information and adequate protection, you can still enjoy a healthy sexual relationship. Here are some tips to help you and your partner stay safe during sex.
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Herpes Drugs Work But Not Forever
Anti-herpetic agents reduce recurrence of herpes simplex-2 symptoms but do not completely block subclinical shedding of virus, even at high doses, researchers reported.
In three complementary crossover trials, short episodes of genital shedding occurred despite daily therapy, according to Christine Johnston, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues.
The finding may explain why even high doses of anti-herpetic drugs do not prevent transmission of the virus, Johnston and colleagues suggested online in The Lancet.
- This study found that anti-herpetic drugs reduce recurrence of herpes simplex-2 symptoms but do not completely block subclinical shedding of virus.
- The finding may explain why even high doses of anti-herpetic drugs do not prevent transmission of the virus.
The researchers enrolled 113 patients with confirmed HSV-2 infection for the three trials, which tested:
- No medication against a standard 400-milligram dose of acyclovir twice a day
- A standard 500-milligram dose of valacyclovir once a day, against 800 milligrams of acyclovir three times daily
- Standard-dose valacyclovir against 1 gram of valacyclovir three times daily
Participants in each trial were assigned to one of the arms for four through seven weeks, had a week without any treatment, and then were crossed over to the other arm.
They took genital swabs four times a day and all told collected 23,605 swabs, of which 1,272 were positive for HSV-2.
Treatment If The Blisters Come Back
Go to a GP or sexual health clinic if you have been diagnosed with genital herpes and need treatment for an outbreak.
Antiviral medicine may help shorten an outbreak by 1 or 2 days if you start taking it as soon as symptoms appear.
But outbreaks usually settle by themselves, so you may not need treatment.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode of genital herpes.
Over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe. Some people never have outbreaks.
Some people who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year may benefit from taking antiviral medicine for 6 to 12 months.
If you still have outbreaks of genital herpes during this time, you may be referred to a specialist.
How Do People Get Shingles
People get shingles when the virus that causes chicken pox, varicella zoster, is reactivated in their body. The varicella zoster virus doesnt leave the body, even after a person has recovered from chicken pox. It can flare up again, causing shingles, often many years after a person has had chicken pox. The virus tends to reactivate when a persons immune system is weakened because of another health problem.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What is the best treatment for me?
- Are there any side effects to my treatment?
- Is it safe to have unprotected sex if I dont have any sores?
- Can I give myself genital herpes if I also have oral herpes?
- Can I give someone else herpes even if Im not having an outbreak?
- What is the best way to prevent herpes outbreaks?
- Can I live a normal life with herpes?
- Am I at risk of developing any other diseases?
- Are there any support groups in my area?
- If I give my baby herpes, what is the treatment?
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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.
What Can I Give My Cat For Feline Herpes
There is no known cure for feline herpes, but there are ways to manage the symptoms and keep your cat comfortable. Treatment options include antiviral drugs, eye drops or ointments, and supportive care. It is important to keep your cat away from other cats that may be infected, and to keep their environment clean and stress-free.
If you know the symptoms of feline herpes, you can provide your cat with the necessary treatment. Because of its prevalence, feline herpesviruses are one of the most common causes of sneezing and nasal discharge. This virus is extremely contagious to cats and rarely infects dogs, but it can also infect humans. Cats can develop a variety of eye symptoms as a result of the feline herpes virus. Conjunctival eruptions, uveitis , keratitis, and corneal ulcers are other conditions that can be caused by these conditions. Aside from respiratory symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing, the virus can cause mouth sores. The cats age and health may also determine whether or not the symptoms are mild or severe.
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Early Signs Of Herpes Outbreak
Prodromal symptoms are non-specific and can develop hours or days before an outbreak. Prodromal symptoms of genital herpes may include:
- Localized genital pain
- Itching, tingling, or shooting pains in the legs, hips, or buttocks
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
- Mild flu-like symptoms
Finally, suppressive therapy can reduce the risk of transmission. This preventive strategy requires the partner with herpes to take a daily antiviral pill like Zovirax to keep the virus under control. By doing so, viral shedding is reduced.
Suppressive herpes therapy is recommended for couples in whom one partner has HSV-2 and the other does not.
Learn To Recognize Warning Signs
Once you start experiencing symptoms you can transmit the virus, so paying attention to early symptoms can help reduce the risk of transmitting it to a partner.
Along with that sort-of-itchy, sort-of-painful tingling feeling that I get before the sores appear, I notice tenderness in my mouth, fatigue, a low fever, and aches in my legs.
You might only get these symptoms with the first outbreak, but they can return. Returning symptoms are usually more mild than before.
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What Does Genital Herpes Look Like
While some people with genital herpes will never have any symptoms, other people can develop symptoms within a few weeks of being infected.
Often, before the lesions appear, patients describe a prodrome, characterized by a tingling or burning sensation in the area where the lesions will develop that can be noticed during urination, along with itching or discomfort in the genital area.
You can also have the following symptoms:
- Blisters on the mouth or lips
- Fever, headache or pain in the joints
- Trouble urinating
The symptoms of genital herpes often go away and come back as recurring outbreaks. For most people, the first outbreak is the worst, and can last from two to three weeks. Future flare-ups are often less severe and do not last as long. Still, some people shed the virus regularly. The following triggers can make outbreaks more likely to occur:
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Menstrual periods
Recurrent genital herpes is most common in the first year after the initial infection and decreases as time goes on.
In many cases, anti-herpes medicine can help patients. When a person experiences a prodrome and suspects a recurrence is going to happen, they begin taking anti-herpes medications that lessen symptoms and shorten the time of the outbreak.