Definition Herpes simplex is a viral infection that mainly affects the mouth or genital area. Causes, incidence, and risk factors There are two strains of herpes simplex viruses: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is the most common herpes simplex virus and many people develop it in childhood. HSV-1 often causes sores (lesions) inside the mouth, such as cold sores (fever blisters), or infection of the eye (especially the conjunctiva and cornea). It can also lead to infection of the lining of the brain (meningoencephalitis). It is transmitted by contact with infected saliva. By adulthood, 30 - 90% of people will have antibodies to HSV-1. The likelihood of childhood infection is higher among those with lower socioeconomic status. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is usually sexually transmitted. Symptoms include genital ulcers or sores. However, some people with HSV-2 have no symptoms. Up to 30% of adults in the U.S. have a...
Getting off the Emotional Rollercoaster
When you were told that you had herpes , what was your reaction? Fear? Shock? Anger? Sadness? Or Resolution?
I’ve seen all of these reactions … and others.
The initial reaction to the news that you have herpes is often a major one, often involving involves many negative emotions.
Let’s face it, no one wants a lifelong disease, particularly one that unfortunately often carries significant stigma.
First, let’s deal with the chronic disease part of the equation. While it’s true that herpes is caused by a virus that can not currently be eradicated, it’s also true that the disease can be successfully managed – with medication and with lifestyle changes .
Historically, doctors did a lousy job teaching their patients how to cope with a chronic condition. For herpes patients, our answers were medication, safe sex and more medication.
Recently, I was introduced to a program that seeks to change that. It’s a six week set of seminars that...
Numerous questions come up regarding herpes and safe sex and specifically use of condoms. Here's a quick rundown on the dos and don'ts:
Many people are asymptomatic and don't even know that they have herpes so your rule should be to always use a condom with a new or current partner. Latex condoms are the best . Add a spermicidal to increase the effectiveness and protection. If you have herpes and experience genital pain, assume an outbreak is imminent and refrain from having sex (or if this applies to your partner, do not have sex with them). Do not have oral or traditional sex in the presence of lesions - a condom is not sufficient protection. Be aware that if active virus is present outside the area covered by the condom - you can transmit herpes or if you are using a condom and your genitalia come in contact with active herpes on the female genitalia, you can contract herpes.
If you are allergic to latex condoms , using lambskin condo...
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