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Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

The herpes simplex virus is a virus that causes an infection known as herpes. People with herpes experience anal, genital, and mouth sores. This disease is common in many people, and it's a long-term infection. About 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 are infected with herpes.

Herpes simplex virus spreads very fast via direct contact with infected persons, especially during sexual intercourse and contact with bodily fluids.

People who have a weak immune system are worse hit if infected by herpes, particularly infants. Many persons infected with the virus are asymptomatic (show no symptoms), while other persons may have less severe symptoms.

We would like to take you through what you need to know about this viral infection, including the types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

What are the types of herpes simplex virus?

HSV are of two types:

  • Herpes simplex virus type 1, and
  • Herpes simplex virus type 2

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What Is HSV-1?

This is herpes simplex virus type 1. It is very common and known in the medical field as an endemic disease. Another name for it is oral herpes. It is characterised by cold sores (fever blister) on the lips, mouth, and genitals (rarely happens). HSV-1 normally develops during childhood and is passed on via non-sexual means like sharing toothbrushes, cups, spoons, and kissing.

What Is HSV-2?

The second type of the virus is basically a sexually transmitted infection (STI) contracted via sexual intercourse with infected persons. HSV-2 is a long-term condition that comes with genital and anal sores. In some cases, the sores can be seen below the waist; at other parts of the body.

Symptoms of HSV

HSV patients may be asymptomatic (experience no symptoms) but at the same time can pass on the virus to other people. When symptoms of HSV show up, they can last from 2 to 6 weeks depending on the virus type. Some common symptoms of this infection are:

  • Eye infection
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Tender sores
  • Itchy, single or multiple blisters on the infected body parts that are seen after the initial 21 days of exposure to the infection. Herpes blisters can stay for as long as 7 to 10 days.

Causes of HSV

The two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be passed on via close contact with the virus. Even when sores are not visible, the virus can still be passed on to other people.

Type-1 HSV can be contracted via mouth contact with infected persons. People can contract HSV-1 when they share anything including toothbrushes, spoons, and plates, that have been contaminated with sores or saliva of an infected person. People whose HSV symptoms are visible have a greater chance of passing on the virus to other people.

Type-2 HSV is mostly passed on via anal, vaginal, and oral sex. HSV-1 can be transmitted via contact with saliva, sores, and bodily fluids of infected persons. A pregnant mother infected with HSV-2 (genital herpes) can transfer it to her newborn at childbirth.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure if you do or do not have an STD/STI.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or 020 34751653

Diagnosis of HSV

HSV-1 and HSV-2 have no cure. What happens is that when a person gets the virus, it stays inactive in the nerve cells and can be triggered by certain conditions. It is this trigger that makes the symptoms visible. Some of the conditions that can cause an outbreak are:

  • Sexual activity or trauma in affected areas
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Emotional and physical stress
  • Any type of illness
  • Tiredness

Symptoms of HSV can disappear on their own without any form of treatment. However, some treatments can be performed on infected persons to lower the occurrence of outbreaks, the symptoms, and the chances of passing on the virus to others.

The sores from this virus can cause itching, stinging, and uneasiness. With antiviral creams and ointments like famciclovir, valacyclovir, and acyclovir which are available in the form of injection and pills, the discomfort can be alleviated.

Bottom line

Herpes simplex virus is a long-term viral infection that's common. It is passed on very fast via direct contact. People with the infection may be asymptomatic, and symptoms are exposed in outbreaks. There is no cure for HSV, but the virus can be controlled. You can visit the Sexual Health Clinic to schedule an appointment with any of our doctors or call 020 34751653. We can help you with the test and treatment of STD as well.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure if you do or do not have an STD/STI.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or 020 34751653