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Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Myth # For Herpes Virus

Symptoms, causes, and treatment for herpes

Herpes is an infection caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). This virus affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, and skin in other parts of the body.

Herpes is a long-term condition. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus.

Symptoms include blisters, ulcers, pain when urinating, cold sores, and vaginal discharge. Although there is no cure for herpes, it can be treated using medications and home remedies.

In this article, we discuss the symptoms of herpes, how to treat it, and how to avoid it.

Fast facts about herpes:

  • There are two types of herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 (herpes type 1, or oral herpes) and HSV-2 (herpes type 2, or genital herpes).
  • More than 50 percent of people in the United States have HSV-1.
  • Around 15.5_percent of people in the U.S. aged 14-49 have HSV-2.
  • Receiving oral sex from somebody who has cold sores around their mouth significantly raises the risk of becoming infected.
  • It is impossible to get genital herpes from a toilet seat.

Most people do not experience symptoms for months or years after becoming infected. Those who do have symptoms during the initial period will usually notice them about 4 days after exposure (the average range is 2-12 days).

Many people with HSV have recurring herpes. When a person is first infected, the recurrences tend to happen more frequently. Over time, however, the remission periods get longer, and each occurrence tends to become less severe.

Primary infection symptoms

Primary infection is a term used for an outbreak of genital herpes that occurs when a person is first infected. The symptoms can be quite severe and may include:

  • blisters and ulceration on external genitalia, in the vagina, or on the cervix
  • vaginal discharge
  • pain and itching
  • tender, enlarged lymph nodes
  • pain when urinating
  • high temperature (fever)
  • malaise (feeling unwell)
  • cold sores around the mouth
  • red blisters on the skin

In most cases, the ulcers will heal, and the individual will not have any lasting scars.

Recurrent infection symptoms

Symptoms that occur in a recurrent infection tend to be less severe and do not last as long as they do in the primary infection stage. Typically, symptoms will last no more than 10 days and include:

  • burning or tingling around genitals before blisters appear
  • women may have blisters and ulceration on the cervix
  • cold sores around the mouth
  • red blisters

Eventually, recurrences happen less often and are much less severe.


When HSV is present on the surface of the skin of an infected person, it can easily be passed on to someone else through the moist skin that lines the mouth, anus, and genitals. The virus may also spread to another individual through other areas of skin, as well as the eyes.

A human cannot become infected with HSV by touching an object, work surface, washbasin, or towel that has been touched by an infected person. Infection can occur in the following ways:

  • having unprotected vaginal or anal sex
  • having oral sex with a person who gets cold sores
  • sharing sex toys
  • having genital contact with an infected person

The virus is most likely to be passed on just before the blister appears, when it is visible, and until the blister is completely healed. HSV can still be transmitted to another person when there are no signs of an outbreak, although it is less likely.

If a mother with genital herpes has sores while giving birth, it is possible that the infection will be passed on to the baby.

Myth #1: Only promiscuous people get herpes.

It turns out you can have herpes without knowing it, even in a monogamous relationship. That’s because even if there are no noticeable symptoms like small red bumps, white blisters, pain, or itching, you can still spread the viral cells and unknowingly infect a partner. So promiscuous & polyamorous_people aren't the only ones at risk

The herpes virus is the most infectious just before, during, and after an outbreak — when blisters are present. But it also has ‘silent shedding’ between outbreaks, meaning the virus can spread at just about any time. And intercourse isn’t the only way to contract this sexually transmitted infection, often called an STI by clinicians. “The majority of new infections are HSV-1, passed from one person’s mouth to another person’s genitals during oral sex,” says Jill Grimes, MD, who wrote the book.

“A lot of people are completely dumbfounded when they’re diagnosed because they didn’t know they could get HSV-1 on their genitals from oral sex,” adds Vensel. “I tell them, ‘Hey, look — this is normal and it’s okay. I know it sucks and you’re in pain, but it’s not the end of the world.'”

Protectives_can reduce your herpes risk if they’re used correctly during vaginal, anal and oral sex, but they’re not foolproof. Herpes can be spread via skin to skin contact in areas that aren’t covered.

Myth #2: A blood test is the best way to know if you have herpes.

Blood tests are not always accurate and testing for herpes can be tricky. It can take two weeks to six months after being exposed to herpes before it is detected in the blood. To make matters more complicated, if you are low risk for herpes and asymptomatic, it increases your risk of a false positive result. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends against routine testing for herpes unless you or your partner have symptoms. The most accurate test is when you are able to take a swab sample from a new herpes lesion, but often times the diagnosis is made by a clinician based on your history and report of symptoms.

Because the blood test can be expensive and inaccurate, it is not typically included in a sexually transmitted disease evaluation unless you ask your provider for it specifically.

In short, if you don’t have symptoms, you don’t necessarily need a blood test. If you do experience an outbreak, a skin swab — not a blood test — is your best bet for confirmation.

Myth #3: Your sex life is over.

While there’s no cure, herpes treatment is simple and can shorten or prevent outbreaks, so you can still have a love life.

“People have a disproportionate fear of herpes in relation to any other STI,” Grim says. “They feel like their sex lives are ruined forever and that’s in no way the case.”

If you have the virus, your doctor may prescribe a medication like Zovirax or Valtrex to keep on hand in case of a flare-up. And if you experience outbreaks often, your provider may recommend daily dosing. However you treat it, it’s worth remembering that herpes is a condition to manage; it doesn’t define you.

“If you have to be ‘perfect’ for your new partner, that partner will be looking a very, very long time to find a match!” Grimes says. “Everyone has ‘something,’ and since one in six Americans between 14-49 have HSV-2, odds are very high that your next partner is in the same boat. The main issue is to have productive conversations around these issues.”

So there’s no reason for all the stigma and secrecy surrounding herpes, since it’s safe to assume more people have it than you think. And if you’re diagnosed with the virus, your provider will help you find a treatment plan that’s easy, effective, and fit for your lifestyle.

Content created and supplied by: DTBoi3 (via Opera News )



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