Saturday, June 25, 2011

What you need to know about genital herpes

Herpes simplex lesion of lower lip, second day...Image via Wikipedia
Remember long ago when the worse thing that you could get from unprotected sex was syphilis, gonorrhea or herpes?  With the arrival of HIV, people have somehow lost track of the other dangers out there from unprotected sex. One in particular is genital herpes. The dangers from genital herpes is still out there. Let's not be lulled into thinking that drugs and advanced medical treatment have taken the place of common sense and responsible behavior when engaging in sex with multiple partners.

In this article, we will be taking a look at genital herpes.

What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes carries a stigma since it has no cure; once infected, always infected.   Even though anti-virals, such as Acyclovir are available to treat and reduce symptom and transmission, we shouldn't take this for license to behave recklessly.Along with this knowledge comes the responsibility of letting future partners know that one has the disease. 


 Genital herpes is a common and highly contagious infection that is spread through sex-oral, anal and vaginal.  This form is called HSV-2, or Herpes Simplex Virus 2.  This infection  primarily attacks the genitals. It can also be transmitted though kising and direct skin to skin contact.  Herpes Simplex-1, or HSV-1 is the form that causes nasty fever blisters.  But, HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes as well.
 
Many times after infection, a person may have an outbreak within two to four weeks.  Setting a pace for occasional flare ups depending upon stress and other factors in life.

 
Who's affected?

Genital herpes can be potentially fatal in newborns as it is passed to the neonate  through the infected vaginal canal. Usually, a caesarean section is scheduled to avoid this situation.

Those with compromised immunity are also at risk for severe complications.  Compounding AIDS with herpes can be a deadly mix.

Symptoms

Herpes  can cause painful, recurrent genital ulcers and is often seen in persons with suppressed immune systems.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually done through visual inspection or taking a sampling from a herpetic lesion.

Prevention

Is usually through abstinence, or being faithful to one partner.

Protective latex condoms can be consistently used.

For more information on genital herpes, please see: www.cdc.gowww.cdc.gov/std/herpes/
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