To reduce the chance of acquiring HSV-1, avoid touching saliva, skin, or mucous membranes of people who have HSV-1 lesions. Prevention of genital HSV may be accomplished by latex condoms, but protection is never 100%. Spermicides do not protect against HSV. Some clinicians recommend using dental dams (small latex squares) during oral sex, but like condoms, they are not 100% protective.
24. Kimberlin DW, Balely J, Committee on Infectious Diseases, Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Guidance on management of asymptomatic neonates born to women with active genital herpes lesions. Pediatrics, 2013. 131(2):e635-46.
A swab is taken from the ulcer or itchy spot and sent for virus DNA detection, which also detects whether the virus is HSV-1 or HSV-2. Blood tests for HSV give too many false positive and false negative results, so MSHC does not offer blood testing for herpes as part of screening for sexually transmitted infections in people without symptoms.
The usual procedure is for the doctor to take a swab from the area affected. A sample of the fluid from a blister or from ulcers is taken and sent away for analysis. The test can identify whether the virus infection is caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2.
An important source of support is the National Herpes Resource Center which arose from the work of the American Social Health Association (ASHA). The ASHA was created in 1914 to in response to the increase in social diseases that had spread during World War 1. During the 1970s, there was an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. One of the diseases that increased dramatically was genital herpes. In response, ASHA created the National Herpes Resource Center in 1979. The HRC was designed to meet the growing need for education and awareness about the virus. One of the projects of The Herpes Resource Center (HRC) was to create a network of local support (HELP) groups. The goal of these HELP groups was to provide a safe, confidential environment where participants can get accurate information and share experiences, fears, and feelings with others who are concerned about herpes.
Klausner JD, et al., eds. Genital herpes. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
genital herpes , herpes genita´lis herpes simplex due to type 2 virus, primarily transmitted sexually via genital secretions and involving the genital region; in women, the vesicular stage may give rise to confluent, painful ulcerations and may be accompanied by neurologic symptoms.
Complications and Sequelae. A primary herpetic infection usually is self-limiting, and, barring secondary infection and neurologic damage, immediate complications are rare. In some instances the infection may be complicated by urethral stricture, meningoencephalitis, labial fusion, or lymphatic suppuration. Although there is no conclusive evidence that herpesvirus infection actually leads to cervical cancer, women with genital herpes are eight times more likely to develop carcinoma in situ than are those whose serum lacks antibodies to the virus.
It’s normal to be concerned about the health of your baby when you have any type of STD. Genital herpes can be spread to your baby if you have an active outbreak during a vaginal delivery. It’s important to tell your doctor you have genital herpes as soon as you know you’re pregnant.
Jump up ^ Weaver BA (1 March 2007). “The burden of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in the United States”. J. Am. Osteopath. Assoc. 107 (3 Suppl): S2–57. PMID 17488884. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008.
In healthy adults, acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are effective in reducing viral shedding and nerve pain damage if administered within 3 days of onset of the rash. Corticosteroids, gabapentin, pregabalin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, some antidepressants, and narcotics may decrease the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. Itching may be reduced with colloidal oatmeal or other topical treatments. Capsaicin cream (an extract of hot chili peppers) may be applied topically for pain relief, but this should be done only after active lesions have subsided.
Infants born to mothers with active genital herpes may acquire serious infections, including infection of the central nervous system. HSV-2 can cause death in 60 percent of infants so affected and severe intellectual disability in 20 percent of surviving infants. The virus may be transmitted to the infant as it passes through the infected birth canal. If active genital herpes is diagnosed in a pregnant woman near term, cesarean section is usually recommended. HSV-2 infections have also been associated by circumstantial evidence with the later development of cervical cancer. The Pap smear and Giemsa smear are two techniques commonly used to diagnose genital herpes. There is a blood test to measure the level of antibodies to the virus, but its results are not always conclusive.
There is cure for genital herpes, and once a person is infected with genital herpes, the infection persists throughout the individual’s life, with the potential for recurrent outbreaks. However, there are medications that can reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks and treatments to manage the symptoms.
Chanchroid is a bacterial STD that is common in Africa and Asia but rare in the U.S. It causes genital sores that can spread the bacteria from one person to another. Antibiotics can cure the infection.
Jump up ^ Allen LB, Hintz OJ, Wolf SM, et al. (June 1976). “Effect of 9-beta-D-arabinofuranosylhypoxanthine 5′-monophosphate on genital lesions and encephalitis induced by Herpesvirus hominis type 2 in female mice”. J. Infect. Dis. 133 (Suppl): A178–83. doi:10.1093/infdis/133.supplement_2.a178. PMID 6598.
Some people find that stress, being tired, illness, friction against the skin, or sunbathing may trigger recurrences of symptoms. Identifying and avoiding these triggers may help reduce the number of recurrences.
Genital herpes is not usually accommodated by symptoms. Two-thirds of genital herpes cases are asymptomatic. Getting tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 is the only sure way to know if you have genital herpes. Blisters or sores in the genital area, fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, tiredness and painful urination call all be symptoms of genital herpes.
About 16 percent of Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 are infected with genital herpes, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. More than 80% of those infected are unaware of their infection. Annually, 776,000 people in the United States get new herpes infections.