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What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the
herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 and type 2. Most genital herpes
is caused by HSV type 2.
Most people have no or minimal symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2
infection. When symptoms do occur, they usually appear as one or
more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters
break, leaving ulcers or tender sores that may take up to four
weeks to heal. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or
Although the infection can stay in the body forever, the number
of outbreaks usually decreases over a period of years. You can pass
genital herpes to someone else even when you experience no
How common is genital herpes?
About 45 million Americans, age 12 and older have genital
herpes. Its estimated that up to one million people become
infected each year. Genital Herpes (HSV-2) is more common in women
How can I get genital herpes?
Herpes is a virus that can be...
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
How do you feel about people who have herpes? First of all, let's assume honesty in the
discussion, meaning that someone would not be ashamed to tell you that they
have it. I have to tell you that I think
there is still a shame factor associated with herpes and other STDS, even in
these progressive times. OK, assuming
that you're the kind of person someone would share anything with - what do you
really feel? Would you have a sexual
relationship with this guy or gal or move on.
Is it a deal breaker for you?
Well, it seems to me that (a) people are not sharing for
fear of being ostracized and (b) people are not informed enough on the subject
to make the best decisions when it comes to communication. As a parent who works in health, I did cover
a lot of ground when it came to talking about sex with my kids. I let them know from a young age that they
could bring any question to me and I did my darndest to tell the truth and give
You should know
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