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Sexually transmitted diseases: What is genital herpes?

Home » HEALTH » Sexually transmitted diseases: What is genital herpes?

By Editor on January 23, 2012.

Genital herpes is a sexually conveyed illness by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV).

Herpes infections in the genital area are conveyed through vaginal, oral, or anal sex, particularly from unsafe sex when infectious skin touches the vaginal, oral, or anal area. From time to time, it can lead to sores in the mouth, and can be spread in turn by secrements of the saliva. Because the virus does not live beyond the boundary of the body for long, you cannot catch genital herpes from an object, such as a lavatory seat. Today, Dr A. Chakravarthy – President of International Association of Sexual Medicine, helps us understand genital herpes in detail.

Types of genital herpes: There are two types of the herpes virus that give rise to genital herpes – HSV-1 and HSV-2. Most types of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. But a person affected with HSV-1 (the type of virus that induces cold sores around the mouth) can carry the virus through oral sex to another person’s genital organ.

Symptoms of genital herpes: Genital herpes, as a disease, is particularly hard to perceive because of the way its evidences show up. As a result of this trouble, most people with the illness are not even attentive to of the information that they have it. Typically, genital herpes indicates itself in the form of eruptions of blebs near the genital organ or in the terminal section of the alimentary canal (rectum). These blebs break leaving behind sore ulcers which also cure after a time period of two to four weeks.

Succeeding this undesirable condition, there may be more eruptions at a deadlier stage (outbreaks). However, these blisters are usually less dangerous and do not endure as long. The whole venereal area may seem very sore or painful, and the person may have influenza symptoms including fever, vexation, and swollen lymph nodes. A common feature of genital herpes is that it makes the affected person much more hypersensitive to the risks of catching HIV.

Tests and diagnosis of genital herpes: Doctors in most cases determine genital herpes based on a physical examination and the outcomes of certain lab tests: Blood Examination. Blood exams can detect antibodies that are made by the immune system to strongly resist a herpes infection. On certain occasions antibody tests are done but these are not as precise at determining the reason of a particular sore or ulcer as a viral culture . Antibody exams cannot distinguish the change between a present-day active herpes infection and a herpes infection that happened in the past. Because antibodies take time to originate after the first incident, an antibody test will be negative if you have just lately been infected.

Viral culture: Fresh sore fluid or cells are taken with a cotton swab and put in a culture cup. A viral culture is the most effective way of determining a genital herpes infection. But the viral culturing often fails to detect the virus even when it exists (false or negative results).

Treatment for genital herpes: Presently, there is no remedy for genital herpes, but antiviral medicines like Acyclovir can be given to control outbreaks and sort out the sores. Doctors will also advise you on how to prevent the sores and keep them clean and dry and prescribe other ways to alleviate the irritation when the virus re-emerges.

Prevention of genital herpes: The only successful method to avoid genital herpes is abstinence. Sexually active teenagers and adults must always use a condom whether the nature of the sex is vaginal, oral or anal.

Avoid sex with a partner who has herpes outbreaks – even with contraceptive devices – until all sores are cured. Herpes can be sexually contagious even if a partner has no infections or other signs and evidences of an outbreak. Finally, one way to decrease this health hazard is to take antiviral medication even when no sores exist if you know you have genital herpes.

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