The herpes virus stays in your body forever, even if you have no symptoms. You may have an outbreak when you’re sick, after you’ve been out in the sun, or when you’re stressed out or tired. If you’re a woman, you could get one when you start your period.
It is important for pregnant women to be checked for STDs. They can cause women to go into labor too early and may complicate delivery. Many STDs can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or after the baby is born. STDs’ effects on babies can include stillbirth, low birth weight, neurologic problems, blindness, liver disease, and serious infection. But there are treatments to minimize these risks. Treatment during pregnancy can cure some STDs and lower the risk of passing the infection to your baby.
Treatment of genital herpes does not cure the disease. The virus usually lives (in an inactive form) in an infected person throughout their lifetime. Most people (85%) with genital herpes will have recurring outbreaks – sometimes 6 to 10 a year. Recurrences are likely to have less severe symptoms and sores usually last a shorter period of time.
There is a slightly increased risk of developing cancer after a shingles infection. However, the mechanism is unclear and mortality from cancer did not appear to increase as a direct result of the presence of the virus. Instead, the increased risk may result from the immune suppression that allows the reactivation of the virus.
Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore(s) and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies. Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for herpes or other STDs.
Antiviral treatment very early in the course of the disease may decrease the length of recurrences. However, there is no satisfactory treatment for HSV-1 infection; as long as the virus remains in some cells in a latent form, antiviral drugs cannot rid the body of infection. The development of agents capable of preventing HSV-1 production of microRNAs is an area of great scientific interest. Such agents would cause the virus to become active, rendering it susceptible to existing antiviral agents that could then cure infection.
Jump up ^ O’Meara A, Deasy PF, Hillary IB, Bridgen WD (December 1979). “Acyclovir for treatment of mucocutaneous herpes infection in a child with leukaemia”. Lancet. 2 (8153): 1196. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(79)92428-0. PMID 91931.
A genital rash and mild itching usually are the earliest signs of infection. Eventually vesicles on the surface of the skin form, and then enlarge, break open, and ulcerate. The lesions are painful, especially during coitus, and can cause intense itching, and, if the urethra is involved, painful urination. The disease affects both sexes. In the male, vesicles are found principally on the glans penis, shaft of the penis, and prepuce, and may extend to the scrotum and inner thighs. In the female, vesicular eruptions usually involve the vulva, vagina, and cervix, and may extend to the perineum, inner thighs, and buttocks. Lesions of the cervix can vary from small superficial ulcers with diffuse inflammation to a single, large, necrotic ulcer. Other symptoms include malaise, fever, and anorexia. There also can be involvement of neural structures and the manifestation of neurologic symptoms. The characteristic lesions usually last from one to three weeks in either the initial stage or during periodic outbreaks.
For those people who experience more severe symptoms, an outbreak of genital herpes commonly consists of blisters or sores (like cold-sores) on or around your genitals. If you have concerns, or think you may have genital herpes, talk to your doctor.
Your doctor can typically diagnose a herpes infection by a visual examination of the herpes sores. Although they aren’t always necessary, your doctor may confirm their diagnosis through laboratory tests.
This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Herpes (Herpes simplex virus/ HSV). It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.Last Updated December 2017
It’s common to feel guilty or ashamed when you are diagnosed with herpes. You may feel that your sex life is ruined or that someone you thought you could trust has hurt you. You may feel sad or upset. Talk to your family doctor about how you’re feeling.
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.
Herpes simplex is a viral disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. Infections are categorized based on the part of the body infected. Oral herpes involves the face or mouth. It may result in small blisters in groups often called cold sores or fever blisters or may just cause a sore throat. Genital herpes, often simply known as herpes, may have minimal symptoms or form blisters that break open and result in small ulcers. These typically heal over two to four weeks. Tingling or shooting pains may occur before the blisters appear. Herpes cycles between periods of active disease followed by periods without symptoms. The first episode is often more severe and may be associated with fever, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes and headaches. Over time, episodes of active disease decrease in frequency and severity. Other disorders caused by herpes simplex include: herpetic whitlow when it involves the fingers, herpes of the eye, herpes infection of the brain, and neonatal herpes when it affects a newborn, among others.
Jump up ^ Schmader K, George LK, Burchett BM, Hamilton JD, Pieper CF (1998). “Race and stress in the incidence of herpes zoster in older adults”. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 46 (8): 973–77. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.1998.tb02751.x. PMID 9706885.
In some cases a false negative culture result can lead people to incorrectly believe that there is no infection. If there is doubt about the result, a blood test can be performed that will detect antibodies to the virus. This will indicate whether someone has been infected with the virus at any time in the past and is therefore a herpes carrier. Some laboratories offer tests that can show antibodies specifically for HSV type 1 or HSV type 2, but be aware that these tests are not perfect yet, often are not specific enough and may give a false diagnosis of the illness. There is also a test that can be used to diagnose primary or recurrent infection know as the HSV IgM test. This test can be used to confirm the diagnosis in individuals that are clinically ill when they present to their doctor or people that suspect that they be infected with HSV.
Genital warts is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infection, with an estimated occurrence of about 32 million cases worldwide each year. The warts affect the genital area and cause such symptoms as itching, burning, discomfort, pain, or bleeding with intercourse. Because of the recurrence and the stigma associated with genital warts, frequently there are psychological burdens associated with the disease that possibly could become traumatic as feeling of shame, worry, fear, anger, and lowered self-esteem develop. Lesions can spread on one person and because they are easily spread between people, genital warts potentially can be a serious public health problem. There are many options for treating genital warts, but none so far are superior to the others. At this time, there is no available evidence that treatment efficiently eliminates genital warts or hinders its progression to malignancy. This review evaluated theeffectiveness and safety of topical 5-FU for treatment of genital warts in nonimmunocompromised individuals. Evidence from the studies we reviewed showed that 5-FU had better results for cure than placebo or no treatment; MCSA; and Podophylin 2%, 4% or 25%. No statistical difference was found when 5-FU was compared with CO2 Laser treatment, and results were poor when 5-FU was compared with 5-FU + INF-2a (high dose) or 5-FU + CO2 Laser INF-2a (high dose). The weak point of this review was the great variability in the methods and quality of the studies that we included.
You can get genital herpes after coming into contact with HSV-1 or HSV-2. Most people get genital herpes from HSV-2, which they get during sex. If someone has a cold sore and performs oral sex, this can spread HSV-1 to the genitals — and cause herpes sores on the genitals.
For preventing later genital herpes outbreaks, people with recurring infections also may benefit from the antiviral medications. Treatment is started when the recurrence first begins and continues for five days.
Jump up ^ Stumpf MP, Laidlaw Z, Jansen VA (2002). “Herpes viruses hedge their bets”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99 (23): 15234–37. Bibcode:2002PNAS…9915234S. doi:10.1073/pnas.232546899. PMC 137573 . PMID 12409612. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18.
The shingles vaccine reduces the risk of shingles by 50 to 90% depending on the vaccine used. It also decreases rates of postherpetic neuralgia, and if shingles occurs, its severity. If shingles develops, antiviral medications such as aciclovir can reduce the severity and duration of disease if started within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash. Evidence does not show a significant effect of antivirals or steroids on rates of postherpetic neuralgia. Paracetamol, NSAIDs, or opioids may be used to help with the acute pain.
Painful blisters appear in and around the vagina or on the penis, around the anal area, or on the thighs or buttocks. Occasionally other skin sites away from the genital areas may be infected as well, such as the face and breasts. Single blisters can occur, but they usually occur in groups. A group of blisters that emerges at the same time is called a crop. In the primary infection several crops may occur one after another. The blisters are painful and tender to the touch. After a short while they look like small pink or red shallow sores (ulcers). After a few days, the blisters become crusted and then heal without scarring.
^ Jump up to: a b Steiner I, Kennedy PG, Pachner AR (2007). “The neurotropic herpes viruses: herpes simplex and varicella-zoster”. Lancet Neurol. 6 (11): 1015–28. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(07)70267-3. PMID 17945155.
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”.
Genital herpes is essentially a minor, sometimes recurring, skin infection; ‘cold sores’ which occur on the genitals rather than the face. It does not cause long-term ill health or affect longevity of life. People who get genital herpes can and do lead perfectly normal lives.
herpes zos´ter an acute viral disease caused by a herpesvirus (the same virus that causes chickenpox); characteristics include inflammation of spinal ganglia and a vesicular eruption along the area of distribution of a sensory nerve. Called also shingles and zoster. It may appear in persons who have been exposed to chickenpox, and it sometimes accompanies other diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and lymphoma or is triggered by trauma or injection of certain drugs. In some cases it appears without any apparent reason for activation.
The virus starts to multiply when it gets into the skin cells. The skin becomes red and sensitive, and soon afterward, one or more blisters or bumps appear. The blisters first open, scab over, and then heal as new skin tissue forms. During a first outbreak, the area is usually painful and may itch, burn or tingle. Flu-like symptoms are also common. These include swollen glands, headache, muscle ache, lower back pain, and fever. Herpes may also infect the urethra, and urinating may cause a burning sensation.
Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 can be asymptomatic or can have mild symptoms that go unrecognized. When symptoms do occur, genital herpes is characterised by 1 or more genital or anal blisters or ulcers. After an initial genital herpes episode, which may be severe, symptoms may recur, but genital herpes caused by HSV-1 often does not recur frequently.
HSV lives in the nerves. When it’s active, it travels to the surface of the infected area (skin or mucous membrane) and makes copies of itself. This is called ‘shedding’ because these new virus cells can at this time rub off onto another person. Then the virus travels back down the nerve to a ganglion – mass of nerve tissue – usually at the base of the spine, where it lies dormant for a while.
Chlamydia is easy to test and diagnose. You can get tested at your local GP or GUM clinic (you are entitled to a chlamydia test even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms). Alternatively, you can order a test kit on our website. We provide a chlamydia urine test for men and a swab test for women, both test kits come with detailed instructions and are easy to use. As chlamydia is highly prevalent among 16 to 25 year olds, chlamydia tests are now offered at most youth clubs and universities, too.
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.
Wound and skin precautions are followed in the care of the mother if she has recurrent herpes (see above). An isolation nursery and wound/skin precautions are recommended for newborns delivered (whether vaginally or by cesarean section) to women with active genital herpes. Some authorities recommend isolation precautions the entire time the newborn is in the hospital and until the incubation period of 21 days has passed.
If you have genital herpes and are pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor. He or she will give you an antiviral medicine. This will make it less likely that you will have an outbreak at or near the time you deliver your baby. If you do have an outbreak of genital herpes at the time of delivery, your doctor will most likely deliver your baby by C-section. With a C-section, the risk of giving herpes to your baby is small.