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Genital Herpes  - do you think you have genital herpes?

Do not be concerned, fortunately there is an effective genital herpes treatment.

Prescription Aciclovir will decrease the frequency of genital herpes outbreaks, as well as,
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Genital Herpes  Information
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Herpes is Greek is herpein meaning "to creep". The Latin name is appropriate describing the way genital herpes lesions "creep" and erupt in blisters in a serpent-like pattern.

When you refer to genital herpes they are primarily concerned with two prevalent types, HSV-1and HSV-2. There is a common belief that HSV-1 attacks above the waist and is responsible for cold sores, while HSV-2 attacks below the waist and is responsible for the genital herpes ulcers. However, both herpes viruses HSV-1 and II can cause ulcers on the oral mucosa and the genital region. Herpes HSV-1 is primarily the cause of recurrent cold sores while HSV-2 are generally responsible for the genital ulcers.

Genital Herpes Informaation - Understand Genital HerpesFortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).
 



Additional Genital Herpes Information

The following genital herpes information has been compiled from a variety of resources in order to give you comprehensive information concerning the herpes  simplex virus:

 

How is genital herpes virus spread from one individual to another?

How common is genital herpes?

What can an individual expect after he/she is infected with genital herpes?

How is genital herpes diagnosed?

What are the symptoms associated with genital herpes?

Is there a cure for genital herpes?

What is the most effective genital  herpes drug used to treat the genital herpes virus?

What can patients do to lessen the pain associated with genital herpes ulcers?

How can you protect yourself from the genital herpes virus?

How often will I recurrent outbreaks of the genital herpes virus?


 

How is genital herpes spread from one person to another?

HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be found and transmitted from the herpes ulcers. However, the ulcers doe not have to be present for an you to become infected with the virus. The genital herpes virus is contagious when their are no apparent lesions present.

An individual almost always acquires an HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. HSV-1 causes most infections of the mouth and lips, however, an individual can acquire HSV-1 in the genital area secondary to oral-genital sexual contact.

Detailed genital herpes information including genital herpes pictures, genital herpes treatments, genital herpes symptoms.Fortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).

 

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How common is the genital herpes virus?

In Europe, an estimated 21 percent of persons 18 years and older are infected with genital herpes virus type 2 (HSV-2) the genital herpes virus type most associated with genital herpes. The prevalence has increased by 30 percent in the past 15 years. Many individuals with HSV-2 are asymptomatic, and an estimated 80 percent of cases of genital herpes HSV-2 are never diagnosed.

Detailed genital herpes information, latest information on genital herpes.Fortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).
 

 

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What can you expect if you are infected with the genital herpes virus?

Many time after you are infected with genital herpes the virus is asymptomatic, you will not be aware that you have acquired the genital herpes virus. However, after a dormancy period the initial presentation of the virus can be very painful. The first episode will usually occur within two weeks after the initial contact with the virus.

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Women can experience a very severe and painful primary infection. Herpes blisters first appear on the labia majora (outer lips), labia minora (inner lips), and entrance to the vagina. Blisters often appear on the clitoris, at the urinary opening, around the anal opening, and on the buttocks and thighs. In addition, women may get herpes blisters on the lips, breasts, fingers, and eyes. The vagina and cervix are almost always involved which causes a watery discharge. Other symptoms that occur in women are: painful or difficult urination (83%), swelling of the urinary tube (85%), meningitis (36%), and throat infection (13%). Most women develop painful, swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) in the groin and pelvis. Approximately one in ten women get a vaginal yeast infection as a complication of the primary herpes infection.

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Men usually experience the herpes blisters on the penis but can also appear on the scrotum, thighs, and buttocks. Fewer than half of the men with primary herpes experience the constitutional symptoms. Some 30% to 40% of men have a discharge from the urinary tube. Some men develop painful swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) in the groin and pelvis. Although less frequently than women, men too may experience painful or difficult urination (44%), swelling of the urinary tube (27%), meningitis (13), and throat infection (7%).

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Following the primary outbreak you can expect to have some seven to ten recurrent episodes during the first year. Although the secondary episodes are generally not as pronounced as the primary outbreak they can still be very painful. Fortunately there are medications i.e. Aciclovir that can decrease the recurrent episodes.

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How is genital herpes virus diagnosed?

Some 80% of all case of genital herpes remain undetected. Studies show that a high percentage of individuals that become infected from an undiagnosed partner. Therefore, proper diagnosis is essential in controlling the spread of the virus.

The virus often goes undiagnosed secondary to a wide range of symptoms associated with the infection or there is an absence of any visible lesions or symptoms. Many individuals are often embarrassed and distressed and do not seek medical help.

An accurate diagnosis can help you if infected take control of your health and benefit from treatment, Aciclovir, that will reduce their symptoms and their frequency of genital herpes virus. Proper diagnosis also decrease the risk of spreading the virus to other individuals. Doctors should take the responsibility to properly educate you if diagnosed with the herepes simplex about how to protect their partners. The following represent the different methods in which the HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be diagnosed:

Physical Exam

The genital herpes virus can be accurately diagnosed by your doctor based on your medical/sexual history and visual exam of the classic fluid filled herpetic lesions. Unfortunately, this method may not be reliable to make an accurate diagnosis. The active or latent genital herpes in many infected patients are asymptomatic or the patient's symptoms may have already resolved by the time he/she visits the physician.

Virus Culture Detection Tests

In order to prepare a viral culture a doctor must collect cells at the base of the genital lesion using a sterile cotton swab The sample is then tested in the laboratory. An individual must have a active or live infection at the time of the swab test to produce a positive result. If the herpetic lesions or ulcers have begun to heal the test may give a false-negative report. However, when active lesions are present, this method is seen as the gold standard for diagnosing genital herpes.

Serology Blood Tests

When an individual becomes infected with the herpes virus the body will produce antibodies designed to fight the virus. These antibodies are specific to each virus and remain permanently in the bloodstream. A blood test for a genital herpes virus can indicate if someone has been infected at some time during their life.

 

However this form of testing cannot indicate when or where on the body the initial infection took place, i.e. around the genital or facial region. When an individual who does not have HSV-2 first acquires the virus, their body starts to produce antibodies. They undergo a process called seroconversion which means they go from having no detectable antibodies seronegative to having detectable antibodies seropositive. The length of time from first infection to when antibodies are detectable varies from person to person, and with the ability of the test to detect antibodies in early infection. Therefore, it is possible for a person in the early stages of infection to give a negative result on a blood test despite having herpes.

Therefore, if an individual believes that he/she has been infected with the virus and the test is negative this individual should repeat the test in three to four months. The older blood tests could not reliably tell the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies, however, there are new commercially available tests that have recently been developed bringing new options for diagnosing HSV:

The HerpeSelect™ type-specific HSV antibody detection tests produced by Focus Technologies can effectively distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2. These kits after collection must be sent back to a central laboratory for results.

The POCkit® HSV-2 Rapid Test is a single unit, membrane-based immunoassay for the qualitative determination, either in heparinized capillary whole blood taken by finger stick or in serum, of circulating IgG antibodies specific for genital herpes virus type 2 (HSV-2), which arise as a result of infection with HSV-2. It is intended for in-vitro diagnostic use by health professionals in Point of Care testing (the lab work does not need to be sent to a central laboratory). The presence of antibodies to HSV-2 may be indicative of a previous infection with HSV-2 and may be of value in determination of previous immunological experience and to aid in the diagnosis of HSV associated disease. This assay will not differentiate whether infection is currently in a latent or active state nor does the test diagnose HSV-1

Detailed genital herpes information, latest information on genital herpes.Fortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).
 

 

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What are the symptoms associated with the genital herpes virus?

Unfortunately, most individuals who are infected with genital herpes are not aware that they have the virus. Many times there are no initial symptoms or individuals do not recognize the symptoms as herpes. Most individuals infected with the genital herpes virus will experience some of the following symptoms within two weeks:

  • Feeling of malaise or the feeling of being excessively tired.
     
  • Itching and/or burning in the genital or anal region.
     
  • Discharge from the vagina.
     
  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen region.
     
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin.
     
  • Pain in the genital area, buttocks and legs.

Following the prodrome period individuals will begin to notice the herpetic lesions forming in the region where the virus has entered the body i.e. mouth, penis, vagina or the anus. Small red bumps appear first that subsequently develop into blisters and then open crusting sores.

During the period when the genital herpes virus ulcers are evident individuals will also report the following symptoms:

  • Painful or difficult urination
     
  • Vaginal discharge
     
  • Swollen glands in the groin area
     
  • Fever
     
  • Headache
     
  • Muscle aches

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Is there a cure for the  genital herpes virus?

Antiviral medications such as Aciclovir will significantly reduce the number of outbreaks and the duration and severity of symptoms associated with the genital herpes virus.

Genital Herpes Understand Genital HerpesFortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).

 

 

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What is the most effective genital  herpes drug used to treat the genital herpes virus?

Aciclovir is the drug of choice for treating the genital herpes  infection and can be taken by mouth (orally). The following also represent the medications that doctors will also prescribe for the treatment of the genital herpes virus. However, Aciclovir remains the drug of choice:

Aciclovir is effective in treating both the primary infection and recurrent outbreaks. When taken or orally, Aciclovir reduces the healing time, virus shedding period, and duration of vesicles.

Patients with frequent outbreaks (greater than six to eight per year) may benefit from long term use of Aciclovir which is called "suppressive therapy." Patients on suppressive therapy have longer periods between herpes outbreaks. The specific dosage used for suppression needs to be determined for each patient and should be reevaluated every few years. Alternatively, patients may use short term suppressive therapy to lessen the chance of developing an active infection during special occasions such as weddings or holidays.

Genital Herpes InformationFortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks (click here for details).

 

 

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What can patients do to lessen the pain associated with the hepres simplex ulcers?

There are several things that a patient may do to lessen the pain associate with genital herpes ulcers including the following:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing and cotton underwear.
     
  • Using a blow dryer on the "cool" setting to dry the infected area.
     
  • Placing an ice pack on the affected area for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes off and then repeating this procedure.
     
  • Removing clothing or wearing loose pajamas while at home.
     
  • Soaking in a tub of warm water.
     
  • Topical ointments may be beneficial if they contain: glycyrrhizinic acid, components of licorice glycyrrhiza glabra, vitamin E, tea oil, Melaleuca spp, baking soda compresses

Information On Genital HerpesFortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks (click here for details).

 

 

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How can you protect yourself from the genital herpes virus?

Since the genital herpes virus is a sexually transmitted disease individuals can protect themselves by abstaining from sexual contact. The consistent and proper use of latex condoms can also provide some protection against infection. Condoms do not provide 100% protection, unfortunately, the condom may not adequately cover the entire region where the herpetic lesions reside allowing viral shedding. If a partner has genital herpes there should be an abstinence from sex until the lesions are no longer present.

Genital Herpes Understand Genital HerpesFortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).

 

 

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You should also adhere to the following to prevent the spread of the virus:

 

  • Practice abstinence
     
  • Wash your hands with soap and water following contact with the sores (already infected with the virus).
     
  • Keep the infected area clean and dry to prevent other infections from developing (already infected with the virus).
     
  • Avoid scratching and/or touching the sores (already infected with the virus).
     
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have in your lifetime.
     
  • Make sure that you and your sexual partner use condoms every time you have sex.
     
  • Refrain from sexual contact from the first sign of a recurrent episode until the lesions are completely healed (already infected with the virus).

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How often will I recurrent outbreaks of the herpes virus?

Recurrent episodes vary amongst different individuals. However, most individuals have between four to six episodes per year. Recurrent infection are generally less severe than the initial outbreak.

Following an outbreak the virus then travels to the nerve cells where the virus remains dormant. Currently, it is unknown why the virus becomes active again. However, the recurrent infections tend to be milder than the primary infections and are often related to stress, fevers, sun exposure, menstrual periods etc.

Individuals should know that the virus may be active without the presence of the typical lesions. During these times, small amounts of the virus may be shed at or near places of the first infection, in fluids from the penis, vagina, mouth or from lesions that not that noticeable.

Antiviral medications such as Aciclovir can significantly reduce the number of outbreaks and the duration and severity of symptoms once an outbreak occurs. Shedding of the virus during these periods may not be noticeable if there is no pain or increased sensitivity in the region. However, you may be at increased risk to spread the virus to your partner at this time.

Genital Herpes Understand Genital HerpesFortunately, there is now an antiviral drug, Aciclovir, that will reduce the frequency of outbreaks, the severity of the outbreaks and any pain associated with the genital herpes outbreaks while decreasing the risk of spreading genital herpes (click here for details).

 

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