To most people the word “herpes” brings up an image of genital herpes, the incurable virus that is transmitted through sexual or direct contact and causes sores on the genital area. However herpes is actually a group of virus that is widely spread and can cause a number of circumstances affecting the skin, mouth, eyes, brain or, in rare cases, the whole body.
Some study shows that as many as 1 in 3 individuals may carry some way of the virus in their body system, either active or non-active.
Forms of the virus consist of herpes simplex kind 1 (cold sores), herpes simplex kind 2 (genital herpes), varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox), cytomegalovirus (mild hepatitis), Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis) and herpes-zoster (shingles). All of these conditions are due to virus in the herpes family.
Two similar circumstances, herpes gestationis and dermatitis herpetiformis, both produce herpes-like sores on the skin but are not related to or due to any of the various herpes virus.
The many diseases that are due to the virus may differ widely from one another, but they all share a few typical and very common traits:
They are generally very contagious and can be transferred from one person to another with sexual or normal contact.
The virus can survive in hidden in the body for a lengthy period after the initial infection.
They are not curable. (However, there are efficient herpes treatments that can make the virus non-active, even in herpes)
Estimates recommend that nearly 30 million Americans are infected with herpes simplex kind 1 (HSV-1) and despite numerous research over many decades there has been little success in developing either a cure or an efficient vaccine.
Many of the virus in the herpes group do not effect again after the initial infection, such as chicken pox for example. However all herpes virus, when not active, remain non-active in your body system, hidden in nerve system and escaping detection by the immune system in the human body.
It is unsure exactly how and why a hidden virus will suddenly trigger into an efficient disease and active infection, however it is known that certain pressures to the immune system and stress appear to bring on an outbreak. These pressures that may lead to outbreaks consist of illness, injury, emotional stress, poor diet, over exposure to sunlight, and even monthly periods.
A strong immune system seems to lessen outbreaks, though outbreaks may continue throughout life. Research has shown that chickenpox and roofing shingles have a repeat of nearly zero while HSV-1 has a repeat amount of 14 % and herpes simplex kind 2 (HSV-2) has a repeat amount of 60 %.
It is HSV-2 that most generally causes genital infections, and HSV-1 that most generally causes attacks of the lips; however either virus can be transferred from one location to the other by direct contact.
Studies have also shown that herpes sores can also provide an easy transmission for other infections.
Women with the virus may even have an increased risk of cervical cancer and it is important for any females who has had herpes to have a cervical smear test (Pap test) every one or two years.
Whether you have been diagnosed with some way of herpes or not, practicing safe sex can go a lengthy way in controlling the transmission of herpes. For instance, prevent to kiss a person who currently have sores on their lips or mouth.
Always practice safe sex in non-monogamous relationships and prevent all sexual contact with any associate who is presenting signs of an active outbreak of herpes until signs have vanished. While most, but not all, male herpes outbreaks are easily recognized, female herpes outbreaks can many times go completely unseen. In reality, many females with herpes don’t realize they have contracted the virus until they have passed it on to a partner.
Using a condom may or may not prevent the transfer of the virus from one person to another, whether one has an active outbreak or not; so use condoms it is better than no protection at all, you should be aware that even condoms are not 100% efficient in protecting against the transmission of the virus.
If you have a history of herpes, prevent getting overtired or allowing yourself to get run down. When you are exhausted, your immune system cannot function as well, and you may be more vulnerable to a repeat of herpes outbreaks.
If you suspect you might have some way of the virus or if you have a partner that has herpes, please see your local doctor for a diagnosis and medical advice.