Wednesday, November 23, 2022

When Can Herpes Be Transmitted

Do Condoms Help Prevent The Spread Of Genital Herpes

How Contagious is Herpes?

Yes. To prevent transmission of herpes, we recommend that condoms be used 100% of the time. Many patients will shed the virus and be contagious when they dont have symptoms. Studies have shown that asymptomatic shedding occurs between 1% and 3% of the time in patients with HSV II genital infections. Many new herpes infections occur from partners who are shedding the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are highly recommended.

Condoms may not be an attractive option for monogamous couples or for couples who desire to become pregnant. Couples may opt to have serological tests to determine if either partner has an asymptomatic infection. In close monogamous relationships, the risks of transmission can be weighed against other relationship issues, such as intimacy and pregnancy.

Transmission Ofherpes Simplex Viruses

Both Herpes Simplex-1 andHerpes Simplex-2 are contracted via contact with the mucosal andabraded skin surfaces. Since HSV-2 is tropic for the genital regions,transmission of HSV-2 is usually through sexual contact. HSV-1, whichusually infects the mouth and lips, is usually transmitted via kissing orthrough the exchange of premasticated food, as in the case of HSV-1seropositive mothers pre-masticating food for their young children. Following contact, viral replication ensues and infection of eithersensory or autonomic nerve endings may occur. Virus, or most likely thenucleocapsid, is transported intraaxonally to the nerve cell bodies inganglia. HSV-1 has an affinity for the sensory nerve cells in the upperpart of the body and thus lies dormant in the cranial nerves. HSV-2prefers the sensory nerve cells in the genital region and thus lies latentin the dorsal root ganglia located in the lower part of the back. Despitethese propensities for certain regions of the body, both herpes simplexviruses can infect other parts of the body.

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Is One Type Of Herpes More Easily Spread Than Another

No, not really. Both HSV1 and HSV2 can be easily transmitted via skin-to-skin contact. HSV1 tends to prefer locations above the waist, such as the mouth, and HSV2 tends to prefer locations below the waist, such as the genitals, but both can also be easily spread to other parts of the body.

Both types are most contagious during active outbreaks when visual symptoms are present but they are also commonly spread when there are no recognizable symptoms through asymptomatic shedding.

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Genital Herpes And Pregnancy

It is important to avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. A first episode during pregnancy can create a greater risk of transmission to a newborn.

Fortunately, it is rare for women with genital herpes to infect their babies. If you know that you have genital herpes before becoming pregnant, your physician will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, a C-section may be recommended. Depending on individual diagnosis, though, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses suppressive therapy to reduce the frequency of C-section.

Why Do Outbreaks Happen In The First Place

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If you are one of the people who gets outbreaks from HSV, your first outbreak is very likely to occur a couple weeks after you are infected. This is your body reacting to the new virus inside it. But after that, blisters only pop up every once and a while. They are triggered by a few things that you can do your best to minimize . These include changes in your health, such as an infection, fever, or any shifts in your immune system, changes in your menstrual cycle, sun exposure, stress, and anything that lowers your immune system so that it canât fight off the virus from bursting onto the scene.

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My Partner Doesnt Have Genital Herpes So How Can I Have Caught It

Your partner could be one of the two out of three people with herpes simplex who have it so mildly they do not realise. So they could have sex when the virus is active. Mild symptoms can appear as a pimple, a little cut or an itchy bit of skin and yet these are very infectious. When people with these mild symptoms learn to recognise them, then they can avoid sex at these times. Another possibility is that your partner does not have herpes simplex and you caught it from a previous partner. It is possible to have a first outbreak many years after first catchin it.

Precautions About Sharing Kitchenware

Youre unlikely to get herpes from sharing a drink, a straw, or a glass.

But youll want to avoid sharing objects with someone who may have another infection, such as a cold, the flu, or strep throat.

Heres how you can help protect yourself from getting an infection:

  • Ask for a clean glass if you get a dirty glass at a restaurant, cafeteria, or anywhere where dishware is shared, such as at your workplace.
  • Clean any surface you plan to use before preparing food in case bacteria or viruses are present.
  • Dont mix chopping boards by chopping or preparing raw meat on the same board as vegetables or other foods that dont need to be cooked.
  • Wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat before you touch any other surfaces or foods, especially if youre sick.
  • Thoroughly clean any surface you used to prepare raw meat or other food that might be carrying bacteria or viruses.

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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.

What Happens If I Dont Receive Treatment

Herpes (oral & genital) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.

If you touch your sores or fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another body part like your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, quickly wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading the infection.

If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your unborn fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? for information about this.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Ii

Typically, the first signs of herpes II is a cluster of blister-like lesions in the genital area which spread and merge, break and crust over within four to 15 days. The fluid from these itching, painful sores is highly infectious. Other frequent symptoms are painful urination, urethral or vaginal discharge and swollen lymph nodes. The first exposure or primary episode consists of headache, fever, chills and muscular weakness. Recurrent episodes are less severe and are limited to the affected area.

What Happens If Herpes Is Not Treated

Herpes can be painful, but it generally does not cause serious health problems like other STDs can.

Without treatment, you might continue to have regular outbreaks, or they could only happen rarely. Some people naturally stop getting outbreaks after a while. Herpes typically does not get worse over time.

The information on this page is adapted from the CDC and Planned Parenthood.

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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 .

Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy

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You may be offered antiviral treatment:

  • to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
  • from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
  • from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy

Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.

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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 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.

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How Do People Get Genital Herpes

Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8

What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Gladiatorum

Herpes Spreads, Even Without Symptoms
  • Symptoms usually begin about 8 days after exposure to HSV-1.
  • Swollen glands .
  • A tingling feeling at the affected area.
  • A cluster of clear, fluid-filled blisters that may be surrounded by redness these blisters may or may not be painful.
  • Blisters and lesions usually heal within 7 to 10 days.
  • People with HSV-1 infection are infected for life, may have periodic outbreaks, and can transmit the virus to others.
Herpes outbreak on arm

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How Does Genital Herpes Spread

Herpes can be spread when an infected person has lesions blisters and open sores on their body or when you do not have any symptoms. Taking antiviral medicine can help you reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to your sexual partners. You can also:

  • Inform your sexual partner that you have genital herpes.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Refrain from having sex when you have symptoms.
  • Abstain from performing oral sex if you have blisters or open sores around your mouth.

What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2

Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they’ll 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 or dental dam , 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 .

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What If My Partner Already Has Cold Sores On The Face Or Anywhere

If your new partner has had cold sores in the past, this either means that they have the same herpes virus as you, or will have the other type . When you both have the same type, it is highly unlikely that either of you will reinfect the other anywhere on the body. If you have different types and either of you catches a second type, symptoms will probably be slight or non-existent. This is because the antibodies for one type will have some immediate effect on the other type as well. It is called partial protection.

How Do You Get Herpes

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The skin on your genitals, mouth, and eyes can be infected easily. Other areas of skin may get infected if theres a way for the herpes virus to get in, like through a cut, burn, rash, or other sores. You dont have to have sex to get herpes. Sometimes herpes can be passed in non-sexual ways, like if a parent with a cold sore gives you a peck on the lips. Most people with oral herpes got it when they were kids. A mother can pass genital herpes to a baby during vaginal childbirth, but thats pretty rare.

You can spread herpes to other parts of your body if you touch a herpes sore and then touch your mouth, genitals, or eyes without washing your hands first. You can also pass herpes to someone else this way.

Herpes is most contagious when sores are open and wet, because fluid from herpes blisters easily spreads the virus. But herpes can also shed and get passed to others when there are no sores and your skin looks totally normal.

Most people get herpes from someone who doesnt have any sores. It may live in your body for years without causing any symptoms, so its really hard to know for sure when and how you got it. Thats why so many people have herpes its a pretty sneaky infection.

Because the virus dies quickly outside the body, you cant get herpes from hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats.

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Can I Get Genital Herpes On My Hands From Fingering Someone During An Outbreak

Someone asked us:

Can I get genital herpes on my hand from fingering an infected individual who was not having a breakout

Its important to avoid touching herpes sores or having any sexual contact while you or your partner have a herpes outbreak. Thats because herpes is most contagious when sores are open and wet.

If an outbreak isnt present , herpes can still shed and spread to others. Always use condoms, finger cots, or dental dams when there isnt an outbreak to lower your chances of spreading herpes during sex.

Tags: herpes, genital herpes, STD, STI

Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.

How Is Herpes Simplex Caught And Passed On

The facts about passing on/transmitting herpes are clear:

Herpes is passed directly from the affected area of skin , by direct skin to skin contact, with friction, when the virus is present.

It can be passed from the face of one person to the genitals of another through oral sex, when the virus is active.

You can pass it on from the affected area, when the virus is present on the skin surface: from the first warning signs that a recurrence is starting , through the time when there are sores or blisters, until they have healed and fresh skin has grown back.

Get this two-page summary which covers the basics.

About six in ten adults by age 25 carry herpes simplex virus type 1 and one in ten carries type 2. Even more people carry herpes simplex virus in older age groups but most dont know. Only around one in three of those infected with either type is aware of this.

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