Phoenix: The Transmission Of Genital Herpes

October 29, 2009 by admin 

Genital Herpes can be transmitted in the absence of symptoms. Genital Herpes is a contagious viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Each year, an estimated 500,000 new cases occur.


Signs of Genital Herpes tend to develop within three to seven days of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Genital Herpes infections look like small blisters or ulcers (round areas of broken skin) on the genitals. Signs of Genital Herpes are blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. When the blisters break they leave sores.


Symptoms of HSV-1, or type 1 herpes, may include cold sores on the face and mouth. Many type 1 herpes virus infections occur during childhood when an infant or child is kissed by a relative or friend who has active type 1, or oral herpes (cold sores). Symptoms also may be mistaken for genital abrasions that could have been caused by vigorous activities like playing sports or sexual intercourse.

Symptoms of herpes may be mild or nonexistent; therefore, many do not even know they are infected. One of the main signs of genital herpes is sores around the genital and anal areas.

Sores also may appear on other parts of the body where broken skin has come into contact with HSV. Over a period of days, the sores become encrusted and then heal without scarring. Sores (small red bumps) can develop.


HSV-2 infection is usually passed on during vaginal or anal sex. HSV-1 is usually transmitted by oral sex (mouth to genital contact). HSV-2 can cause sores or small breaks in the skin of the genital area that may make it easier for HIV to enter the bloodstream during sexual intercourse. HSV-2 infection also attracts to the genital region CD-4 T-cells, and HIV easily attaches to this type of cell. HSV-2 (genital herpes) and HSV-1 (oral herpes like cold sores and fever blisters).


Outbreaks can occur within weeks or months of each other. Outbreaks generally last a few days and often occur during stress. Outbreaks that occur after the first one are called recurrent genital herpes. Outbreaks look like small blisters or genital sores that rapture in a few days and then become open sores. Sometimes as the blisters appear or just before they appear, they cause pain.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for infection with HSV-1 include frequent intimate contact with an infected person, including contact with mucosal surfaces or abraded skin, and sharing eating utensils, razors, and towels.


Lesions caused by HSV are common among HIV-infected patients and might be severe, painful, and atypical. HSV shedding is increased in HIV-infected persons. Lesions develop 3 to a week after being exposed to the virus. Genital herpes symptoms will show within 2 weeks of the first infection.


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