Genital Herpes Testing and Treatment
Any sexually active person can get genital herpes. This common STD is transmitted to people via sexual contact: vaginal, anal and oral. It is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). The virus does not present with symptoms, so infected partners may not be aware they have the disease and therefore can unknowingly spread it to others.
Oral herpes caused by HSV-1 can result in cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth for some individuals, but not everyone. Most commonly, people were infected with this virus during childhood or young adulthood from non-sexual contact with infected saliva. Oral sex with someone who has the virus can spread HSV-1 from the mouth to the genitals.
Herpes is another sexually transmitted diseases that cannot be cured. There are, however, medicines that can prevent or decrease the length of the outbreaks. Among the medicines available are anti-herpes drugs, which when taken daily, lower the chances of you passing the disease to anyone with whom you have sex.
Genital herpes outbreaks can cause painful sores. These can be severe in individuals with suppressed immune systems. The disease can be transferred to other areas of the body if you touch an open sore and touch another part of your body, for example, your eyes. It is important to avoid contact with the open sores and the fluid they produce. Washing your hands after such contact will lower the likelihood of transferring the disease to another part of your body.
Genital Herpes Symptoms
Many people do not experience symptoms with the genital herpes virus. If you do, the symptoms may be mild and can easily be mistaken for another skin condition. Pimples and ingrown hairs look similar to mild outbreaks of the disease.
One or more blisters may appear on or around the genitals, mouth or anal area. When the blister breaks, it leaves a painful sore that can take over a week to heal. Initial outbreaks may include flu-like symptoms. Swollen glands, fever and body aches can accompany the first outbreak.
If you have HSV-2 and experience an initial outbreak, you may continue to have episodes from time to time. Repeat outbreaks are often shorter and less severe than the initial episode. The virus stays in the body and can go dormant. Outbreaks may become more infrequent over the years.
Dr. Michael has experience diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases. If you believe you have been exposed to genital herpes or another STD, contact Dr. Michael and schedule an appointment for testing.