The Sexually Transmitted Disease, or STD, Herpes is very common.
Most Americans have Herpes. Herpes can also be transmitted through sexual
contact and other physical direct skin contact. Experts say that 60 million
Americans have the herpes virus that causes the genital form of herpes. It
can effect men and women. 500,000 Americans are diagnosed each year. There
are more than 80 known forms of the herpes virus. Eight can cause disease in
Genital herpes is a form of herpes. The herpes simplex virus causes it.
Genital Herpes is very contagious. Being sexually active which also includes
any vaginal, oral, or anal contact is able to have it. There are many symptoms
of genital herpes. Symptoms may appear four to 30 days after the person is
infected. People may have flu-like symptoms like a fever, swollen lymph
glands in the groin, headache, muscle aches, and initial infection. Someone
may also have small fluid-filled blisters that break out and heal over
several days after they crust. Some only get a rash on little bumps that look
like pimples. Women may have fluid discharge from the vagina. It is possible
that the first episode is so mild it remains unnoticed.
Depending on the person and how long the person has had herpes effects how
often and how bad the outbreaks get. A person may have itching or irritation
before an outbreak. Outbreaks caused by genital herpes can happen on the
penis, scrotum, vulva, vagina, anus, urethra, thighs, and buttocks.
Genital herpes may be confused with a vaginal yeast infection, jock itch,
insect bites, hemorrhoids, and an ingrown hair. Most people with genital
herpes do not know they have it. It also does not show up on regular blood
Genital herpes can be spread many ways. It is most contagious when there is
an outbreak. Skin to skin contact can spread genital herpes during an
outbreak. Even when a person does not have an outbreak it can spread. The
best thing to do if you have genital herpes is to take charge and do what you
must. Make sure a reliable doctor tests you before being diagnosed. Some
people are diagnosed on symptoms alone and they don't really have it.
If you think you have genital herpes you need to go to your doctor. Having
herpes type 2 IgM done once a mouth for 3 months should tell you. The virus
will always be in your body. As of now there is no cure. It is, however, a
manageable disease. If you have frequent
occurrences, medication may be helpful. After you are infected, most people
do not have recurrent outbreaks. If the person does, the outbreaks are
usually shorter and much less severe than the first time.
One test that is often given to obtain an accurate diagnosis is a cell
culture. The sample would be taken from a sore and any viruses in the sample
would multiply so they could be seen under a microscope.
Another test is called the "direct fluorescent antibody" test. If
the sample contains antibodies it will glow when seen under a special
If you have been diagnosed with genital herpes, there are treatment options
that include antiviral drugs. Three drugs, which have been proven to help,
are Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtux. These are all pills. There are also
different levels of treatment and suppressive treatment. Side effects of
these drugs are considered mild. People taking these drugs should continue to
use condoms and see their doctor once a year. A doctor can help you decide
the right treatment. There is not a cure, but the medicine relieves the
symptoms and allows for a manageable lifestyle.