Herpes Testing and Treatment
Herpes is a very common and highly infectious disease that is caused by two closely related viruses: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
HSV-1 infections, or oral Herpes, are more common than those caused by HSV-2 and result in the formation of fever blisters or cold sores, especially around the mouth and lips.
How can Herpes be tested/checked?
Herpes can be transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal contact with an infected individual. This contact can be sexual or non-sexual. HSV-1 is often spread by kissing, which is why it is very common. You are at a higher risk of catching either one of the two viruses when the person you come into contact with (sexually or non-sexually) has blisters or sores than it is when there are no visible symptoms.
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SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GENITAL HERPES
Many people with Herpes Simplex (HSV) don’t have any visible signs or symptoms. If you do get symptoms they may include the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have symptoms for Herpes, the use of condoms might not protect your sexual partner from getting the virus from your infected areas that are not covered by the condom. Therefore, it is advised to abstain from sex if you have symptoms.
Since the virus stays in the nerves surrounding the infected area permanently, there is no cure to eliminate the virus from the body. However, there are many treatments which are very effective at reducing both the severity and frequency of any outbreaks.
Oral and genital Herpes infections often have no symptoms or mild symptoms that can either go unnoticed or be mistaken for other types of bacterial or fungal infections, in both men and women. Occasionally, the virus may be present with no visible signs and can still be passed on, by a process called ‘asymptomatic viral shedding’.
The chances of detecting the virus is highest when the lesions are active, indicated by presence of signs of inflammation. Once the lesions have scabbed and dried up, there may not be any virus in the sample to detect.
HSV-2 infections, or genital Herpes, result in the formation of sores, usually around the genitals or rectum. Although HSV-2 infection may be caught around the mouth through oral sex, it is more commonly found below the waist.
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