Genital herpes is an extremely common sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 can cause genital herpes; however, it is most commonly caused by HSV-2. When a person has oral-genital contact with someone who is infected with HSV-1, genital infection is very likely. Oral Herpes is usually associated with fever blisters and other types of mouth infections. Genital herpes does not adversely affect an infected person’s immune system and usually does not predispose them to other infections. This is especially true in those who are otherwise remarkably healthy.
Here are some general facts about genital herpes briefly discussed:
- Almost all cases of genital herpes are spread through sexual contact. When one partner has a cold sore, they are usually a carrier of type 1 herpes simplex virus and can easily spread the virus to another by performing oral sex on them. As a result, genital herpes is contracted.
- Having genital herpes is not life devastating. A great number of individuals lead very normal lives without suffering any serious issues from genital herpes. These individuals simply have learned to control outbreaks and triggers. Those who have HSV-2 are more likely to become infected with HIV/AIDS than those who do not have HSV-2. Practicing a healthy life style that includes safe sex practices allows individuals to function normally.
- Individuals cannot contract genital herpes by sitting on toilet seats. The genital herpes virus will not live on any surface that is dead such as door knobs and sinks.
- A person infected with genital herpes can transmit the virus when there are no signs present. This is known as asymptomatic shedding of the herpes simplex virus. Anyone can get the virus from an infected partner at any time.
- Before an infected person suffers an outbreak of herpes, they may experience prodrome (warning signs). During this time, the person may experience certain sensations such as pain, itching or tingling. An outbreak of genital herpes usually follows within a few days. Genital herpes is easily spread during this time, as well.
- Prevention is the best solution for safeguarding against genital herpes. Individuals should have only one sexual partner and should choose a partner that has not been infected with herpes. If a person or their partner has genital herpes, latex condoms should be used, and oral sex should never be performed.
- Genital herpes can be passed on to a newborn baby. Most pregnant women with the virus receive anti-viral medications and undergo a cesarean delivery. This protects the infant from being infected with the herpes virus.
- Although there is no cure for genital herpes, you can reduce the spread of this virus with anti-viral therapy. This causes a decrease in the shedding process of the herpes virus.
- Anyone infected with the herpes simplex virus will carry it in their body during their entire life. Treatment will reduce the length of the outbreak as well as the frequency of these outbreaks.
- Many individuals never suffer with any signs or symptoms of the herpes simplex virus. Some of them have such insignificant symptoms that they tend to ignore them.
These are only some of the facts about genital herpes. Anyone suffering with genital herpes should seek treatment from their physician. These individuals should educate themselves about all aspects of the herpes simplex virus.