Genital herpes is caused by two types of herpes simplex virus: type 1 (HSV-1; the cause of cold sores of the lips and mouth) and type 2 (HSV-2). The disease first appears as groups of small blisters on the surface of the penis in…
People who become infected with HSV will have the virus for the rest of their lives. Even if it does not manifest symptoms, the virus will continue to live in an infected person’s nerve cells. Some people may experience regular outbreaks. Others will only experience one outbreak after they have been infected and then the virus may become dormant. Even if a virus is dormant, certain stimuli can trigger an outbreak. These include:
As with almost all sexually transmitted infections, women are more susceptible to acquiring genital HSV-2 than men. On an annual basis, without the use of antivirals or condoms, the transmission risk of HSV-2 from infected male to female is about 8–11%. This is believed to be due to the increased exposure of mucosal tissue to potential infection sites. Transmission risk from infected female to male is around 4–5% annually. Suppressive antiviral therapy reduces these risks by 50%. Antivirals also help prevent the development of symptomatic HSV in infection scenarios, meaning the infected partner will be seropositive but symptom-free by about 50%. Condom use also reduces the transmission risk significantly. Condom use is much more effective at preventing male-to-female transmission than vice versa. Previous HSV-1 infection may reduce the risk for acquisition of HSV-2 infection among women by a factor of three, although the one study that states this has a small sample size of 14 transmissions out of 214 couples.
Jump up ^ Hofstetter, AM; Rosenthal, SL; Stanberry, LR (Feb 2014). “Current thinking on genital herpes”. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 27 (1): 75–83. doi:10.1097/qco.0000000000000029. PMID 24335720.
Jump up ^ Sørensen HT, Olsen JH, Jepsen P, Johnsen SP, Schønheyder HC, Mellemkjaer L (2004). “The risk and prognosis of cancer after hospitalisation for herpes zoster: a population-based follow-up study”. Br. J. Cancer. 91 (7): 1275–79. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602120. PMC 2409892 . PMID 15328522.
General symptoms for a baby born with herpes (received through a vaginal delivery) may include ulcers on the face, body, and genitals. Babies who are born with genital herpes can develop very severe complications and experience:
Diagnosis is usually made based on clinical assessment. If further studies are required, the CDC recommends direct fluorescent antibody testing of specimens collected by rubbing a swab on the base of an open lesion.
Herpes is caused by infection with one of the human herpesviruses. Most oral herpes virus infections are due to the virus known as HSV-1, while genital herpes virus infections are most often caused by HSV-2. However, both kinds of herpes virus can infect any location in the body.
Herpes can be passed even if the penis or tongue doesn’t go all the way in the vagina, anus, or mouth. You don’t have to cum to spread herpes. All it takes is some quick skin-to-skin touching. You can also get herpes from kissing someone who has oral herpes.
Other common symptoms include pain, itching, and burning. Less frequent, yet still common, symptoms include discharge from the penis or vagina, fever, headache, muscle pain (myalgia), swollen and enlarged lymph nodes and malaise. Women often experience additional symptoms that include painful urination (dysuria) and cervicitis. Herpetic proctitis (inflammation of the anus and rectum) is common for individuals participating in anal intercourse.
Once HSV2 enters the body, it travels through the nervous system to the spinal nerves, where it typically comes to rest in the sacral ganglia, a cluster of nerve tissue located near the base of the spine. After the initial infection, HSV2 lies dormant in your nerves. When it becomes activated, a process known as viral shedding occurs. Viral shedding is when the virus replicates. Viral shedding may cause a herpes outbreak and symptoms such as herpes lesions. These usually occur in the genitals or rectum. However, it’s also possible for the virus to be activated and for no visible symptoms to occur.
Avoid touching the eyes or mouth after touching blisters or applying ointments. It is particularly important not to touch your eyes, because there is a risk of spreading the infection to them, resulting in corneal ulcers.
genital herpes (herpes genita´lis) herpes simplex of the genitals, a common sexually transmitted disease, usually caused by human herpesvirus 2 but occasionally by human herpesvirus 1. If it is present at term in the pregnant female, it may lead to infection of the neonate (see maternal herpes).
What are the Symptoms when you first get herpes? Symptoms of herpes usually develop within 2 to 20 days after contact with the virus, although it could take longer. These symptoms may last up to several weeks, varying from one person to the next. In many people, the first infection is so mild that it goes unnoticed. It is possible that a person becomes aware of the “first episode” years after the infection is acquired. Many people who contract HSV are not aware of their infection. more…
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h Chayavichitsilp P, Buckwalter JV, Krakowski AC, Friedlander SF (April 2009). “Herpes simplex”. Pediatr Rev. 30 (4): 119–29; quiz 130. doi:10.1542/pir.30-4-119. PMID 19339385.
If genital herpes sores are present, or if one of the partners is in the prodromal stage (beginning to feel symptoms) you should avoid sexual activity. It is possible to transfer herpes from the genitals to genitals, genitals to mouth, and mouth to genitals. Be very careful because at this time, the herpes virus is very contagious! more…
Herpetic whitlow and herpes gladiatorum Herpes whitlow is a painful infection that typically affects the fingers or thumbs. On occasion, infection occurs on the toes or on the nail cuticle. Individuals who participate in contact sports such as wrestling, rugby, and football(soccer), sometimes acquire a condition caused by HSV-1 known as herpes gladiatorum, scrumpox, wrestler’s herpes, or mat herpes, which presents as skin ulceration on the face, ears, and neck. Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen glands. It occasionally affects the eyes or eyelids.
Worldwide rates of either HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 are between 60 and 95% in adults. HSV-1 is more common than HSV-2, with rates of both increasing as people age. HSV-1 rates are between 70% and 80% in populations of low socioeconomic status and 40% to 60% in populations of improved socioeconomic status. An estimated 536 million people or 16% of the population worldwide were infected with HSV-2 as of 2003 with greater rates among women and in those in the developing world. Rates of infection are determined by the presence of antibodies against either viral species.
Most cases of genital herpes are caused by a virus called HSV-2. It’s highly contagious and can spread through intercourse or direct contact with a herpes sore. As with HSV-1, there is no cure. But antiviral drugs can make outbreaks less frequent and help clear up symptoms more quickly.
Learn about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including symptoms, signs, diagnosis, and options. Get more information on herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, scabies, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs.
WHO and partners are working to accelerate research to develop new strategies for prevention and control of genital and neonatal HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections. Such research includes the development of HSV vaccines and topical microbicides. Several candidate vaccines and microbicides are currently being studied.
The annual incidence in Canada of genital herpes due to HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection is not known (for a review of HSV-1/HSV-2 prevalence and incidence studies worldwide, see Smith and Robinson 2002). As many as one in seven Canadians aged 14 to 59 may be infected with herpes simplex type 2 virus and more than 90 per cent of them may be unaware of their status, a new study suggests. In the United States, it is estimated that about 1,640,000 HSV-2 seroconversions occur yearly (730,000 men and 910,000 women, or 8.4 per 1,000 persons).
Worldwide rates of either HSV-1 or HSV-2 are between 60% and 95% in adults. HSV-1 is usually acquired during childhood. Rates of both increase as people age. Rates of HSV-1 are between 70% and 80% in populations of low socioeconomic status and 40% to 60% in populations of improved socioeconomic status. An estimated 536 million people worldwide (16% of the population) were infected with HSV-2 as of 2003 with greater rates among women and those in the developing world. Most people with HSV-2 do not realize that they are infected. The name is from Greek: ἕρπης herpēs which means “creeping” or “latent”.