Jump up ^ “Clinical Features of Viral Meningitis in Adults: Significant Differences in Fluid Findings among Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella Zoster Virus, and Enterovirus Infections” (PDF). Clinical Infectious Diseases, the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2008.
Jump up ^ Koelle, D.M.; Wald, A. (April 2000). “Herpes simplex virus: The importance of asymptomatic shedding”. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 45 (Suppl T3): 1–8. doi:10.1093/jac/45.suppl_4.1. PMID 10855766.
Herpes is a super-common infection that stays in your body for life. More than half of Americans have oral herpes, and about 1 out of 6 Americans has genital herpes. So chances are a few people you know are living with herpes.
Pain, sore lips, burning sensation, tingling, or itching occurs at the infection site before the sores appear. These are the early symptoms (prodrome). Sometimes these symptoms happen prior to the appearance of sores, bumps, pimple-like lesions, or blisters (herpes or herpetic stomatitis). Thereafter, clusters or groups of painful blisters (also termed fever blisters) or vesicles erupt or ooze with a clear to yellowish fluid that may develop into a yellowish crust. These blisters break down rapidly and appear as tiny, shallow gray ulcers on a red base. Fever blisters are smaller than canker sores. A few days later, they become crusted or scabbed and appear drier and more yellow.
Jump up ^ Martinez V, Caumes E, Chosidow O (2008). “Treatment to prevent recurrent genital herpes”. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 21 (1): 42–48. doi:10.1097/QCO.0b013e3282f3d9d3. PMID 18192785.
The experience and support of other people with herpes can be extremely valuable. Herpes support groups exist in some centres. These groups have the objective of providing support and education to people with herpes.
“Crabs” is the common term for lice that set up shop in pubic hair. The term comes from the shape of the tiny parasites, which look very different from head or body lice. The creatures crawl from one person to another during close contact. Pubic lice can be killed with over-the-counter lotions.
There are many people who are exposed to and infected by the herpes virus but never develop any signs or symptoms of the herpes infection. These people carry and may ‘shed’ the herpes virus from time to time without showing symptoms and in doing so may transmit the herpes infection to their sexual partner if they have sex at that time. Up to 80% of people get HSV from partners who have no signs and symptoms of HSV and are unaware they have the herpes infection.
Herpes infection can cause sores or breaks in the skin or lining of the mouth, vagina, and rectum. This provides a way for HIV to enter the body. Even without visible sores, having genital herpes increases the number of CD4 cells (the cells that HIV targets for entry into the body) found in the lining of the genitals. When a person has both HIV and genital herpes, the chances are higher that HIV will be spread to an HIV-uninfected sex partner during sexual contact with their partner’s mouth, vagina, or rectum.
Studies of couples where one partner has genital HSV-2 show transmission rates of between 5-20% per year, women with no exposure to HSV-1 having the highest risk (20%) and men with previous HSV-1 infection having the lowest risk (5%). Prior HSV-1 infection may give some cross-immunity to HSV-2 infection.