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...
Given the prevalence of herpes, and the constant turnover of
men in my life, I was always surprised I hadn’t met a potential mate who shared
my disease. Well I am thrilled to
say that it has finally happened, and I’m sure this has, or could, happen to many
others of you.
After a steamy night of making out and resisting the
temptation to indulge all of our desires, we spent the next day lounging in the
park, basking in the sun, and enjoying our new interest. Then, out of nowhere, he pushed back
and said, “So I think I should warn you…” and the wheels in my head started spinning…Uh
oh, lemme guess…you’re afraid of commitment? You’re an ex-convict? Drug addict? Until I saw
the look in his eyes, sensed his nervousness, and I knew he was about to
disclose an STD. “I have oral
herpes, so the more you kiss me, the more chances you have of catching
it.” What a r...
OK, you're in the middle of an outbreak and you‘re in pain!
How do you manage the uncomfortable and painful symptoms?
First, get medical treatment. Antiviral therapy reduces the
severity of the symptoms and duration of the symptoms when started early in an
outbreak. Beyond that, most people are on their own. Here are some ideas on
things you can try at home to minimize the symptoms:
your genital herpes sores clean and dry. Take warm baths and, after each
bath, dry your sores well.
Epsom salt bath. Throw a large handful into a warm (or cool), shallow bath
and soak. This will help the sores dry up and heal.
loose clothes that don't rub or irritate your sores. Cotton underwear is
best, and don't wear pantyhose if you don't have to. Sometimes, wearing no
underwear at all is the most comfortable.
ice packs to your sores. You may find this relieves some of the swelling
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