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Home: Diseases & Conditions: Genital Herpes: Facts

Genital Herpes: Facts

Facts About Genital Herpes

  • Genital herpes and oral sex
    If your partner has cold sores (carrier of virus type1), he/she can pass HSV1 to you by performing oral sex on you. You may contract Genital herpes.

  • Genital herpes is not life destroying
    A large population is living with genital herpes without any serious problem. Control your triggers and outbreaks of herpes. Take your medication as prescribed. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and you can live a normal life. Note that a person suffering from genital herpes is more susceptible to get HIV.

  • Genital herpes cannot be transmitted via toilet seats
    The herpes virus cannot live long on dead surfaces such as toilet seats, towels, etc. It is rare to contact herpes from these objects.

  • Silent transmission
    An affected person, who does not have any signs of active sores, can also pass on the virus. That is called asymptomatic shedding of virus. If your partner is infected with genital herpes, you may also get it even if your partner shows no active outbreaks.

  • You may get the indication of herpes outbreak
    Before any herpes outbreak there is a period called prodrome. During this period you may get sensations such as- tingling, itching or pain. That indicates that the herpes will break out in a day or two. The skin sheds virus during this phase and herpes can be easily transmitted.

  • Prevention of genital herpes
    The best safeguard for genital herpes is to have a single partner who is free of herpes. If not, use of latex condoms and minimizing partners may reduce the risk.

  • Pregnancy & genital herpes
    A woman who is having active sores in or near vagina or having her first outbreak of genital herpes can pass on the disease to her newborn. In such cases, doctor decides about anti-herpes medicine and mode of delivery of baby.

  • Reducing the spread of herpes virus
    Antiviral therapy reduces the shedding of herpes virus considerably.

  • Cure of genital herpes
    There is no cure for genital herpes. The virus remains in the body for life. Medicines can only reduce intensity, period of the outbreak and number of outbreaks.

  • Recurring episodes of genital herpes
    Some people get active genital herpes only once, while others may have several recurrences through their lifetime.

  • Affected places due to genital herpes
    In men, the affected areas due to genital herpes include- urethra, penis, scrotum, anus and buttocks. In women, the herpes appears on external genitals, vagina, cervix, buttocks and anus.

  • Transmission of genital herpes
    Genital herpes commonly gets transferred through skin cuts (even microscopic) or mucous membranes. Oral cavity, vagina, anus and head of penis are all covered with mucous membrane.

  • Testing of genital herpes
    Herpes is tested with viral culture during active outbreaks. During dormancy (no visible signs), a blood test is performed. These tests are not very accurate and may need to be repeated.

  • Many people do not know that they have genital herpes
    Many people who have genital herpes may not show any symptoms or the symptoms may be so insignificant that they ignore them.

Article updated on: May 26, 2008

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