FROM OUR EXPERTS
To provide some clarification, since so many of you write to me asking about herpes testing , here's a run down of the current available tests. They each have limitations, though I indicate which are the most specific. A doctor will quite often take your history/examine you and then "marry the history/exam findings to the test results" which can mean that even in the face of a negative test result, your medical history and examination might indicate presence of herpes. It's important to realize that false-positives can also occur during testing.
1- Clinical examination - since HSV can present without lesions or the lesions can be confused with other diseases, just diagnosis by examination is not a perfect option.
2- Viral culture requires that lesions be present so the fluid can be taken from the sores and tested. It can be wrong 50% of the time but it is still a viable test because it can differentiate between HSV1 and HSV2.
Apparently having HIV means you may also be likely to get herpes. The co-infection rates are quite high and add significant health burdens on an individual when they have HIV and then they get herpes. What's also known is that when someone with HIV gets herpes, the herpes can actually enhance further progression of the HIV viral load. Also people with both viruses can transmit HIV more easily to others. Finally if you have herpes, it makes you more susceptible to HIV.
Acyclovir has seemed to be ineffective in studies looking at its possible treatment value in HIV therapy plans. BUT, researchers recently discovered that if you give acyclovir to someone who has HIV and herpes - the drug attacks HIV directly and supresses its reproduction. This is a huge discovery, because in developing parts of the world where rates of co-infection are high - this could now be an important tool in the war on HIV. Since on average 3 drugs are needed to hold ...
Article updated and reviewed by David Aronoff, M.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School on May 9, 2005. herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). There are two types of HSV, HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is usually responsible for cold sores ( fever blisters) of the lips and mouth. HSV-2 is the one that most commonly causes genital herpes . The infection causes painful, ulcerative sores on the genitals in both men and women. However, HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, and HSV-2 can cause cold sores. Genital herpes is common. In the United States, one out of five of the total adolescent and adult population is infected with HSV. Herpes is spread by direct contact with an infected person. For example, if you have genital herpes and have sexual intercourse, you can give your partner genital herpes. If you have oral herpes , you can give your partner oral herpes while kissing, and you can also give i...
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