The Truth About Genital Herpes

October 28, 2009 by admin 


Genital Herpes is a rapidly growing sexually transmitted disease. An estimated 25 percent of American adults are infected with genital herpes, that’s at least 45 million people, ages 12 and older. Out of those 45 million, 80 percent are unaware that they have it.

How do people get genital herpes?

Genital Herpes is an STD caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2), although most Genital Herpes is caused by HSV-2. HSV-1 and HSV-2 is found in and can be released from the sores that the viruses cause. Although transmitting herpes is more common during an outbreak, it is still possible to transmit the infection when no sores are present. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, but more commonly causes mouth infections called cold sores or fever blisters.

What are the signs and symptoms of genital herpes?

80 percent of individuals who are infected with Genital Herpes are unaware that they have it. The first outbreak of herpes can be quite extreme and usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted. The sores typically heal within two to four weeks, but can be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Because the signs and symptoms can greatly vary from person to person, it’s important to make a visit to your health care provider for proper diagnosis.

What are the side effects of genital herpes?

Genital Herpes can cause recurrent painful sores, especially in people with weak immune systems. Although it is rare, genital herpes can lead to fatal infections in babies if the mother contracts herpes during late pregnancy. If a woman has an outbreak at the time of delivery, a cesarean delivery is usually performed.

Is there a treatment for herpes?

There is currently no treatment that can cure herpes, but there are medications that can be taken to shorten and prevent outbreaks while the person is taking the medication. There are also medications that can be taken to reduce the possibility of transmission to partners.

How can herpes be prevented?

The best way to avoid getting any sexually transmitted disease, including genital herpes, is to abstain from sexual contact with anyone who has not been tested for STDs. Another option is to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Although condoms aren’t 100% effective, correct and consistent use of condoms can reduce the risk of transmitting genital herpes. If you have been diagnosed with herpes, it’s crucial to abstain from sexual activity with uninfected people. Although it is less likely for herpes to be transmitted when there isn’t a visual outbreak, it isn’t impossible. Always inform your partner if you’ve been infected with an STD, or limit your dating to other singles with herpes.


Comments are closed.