Herpes refers to a condition where the genitals, cervix or the mouth are affected by ulcers, sores or blisters. Herpes is also known as genital Herpes.
Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus namely, HSV1 and HSV2. It is a very common infection, which is highly contagious and spreads easily through kissing and sex with an infected person or direct contact with the infected persons body fluids. It affects more women than men.
The causes of Herpes include:
- HSV1 and HSV2 virus which are the main causes of Herpes
- The virus may spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person
- The mode may be oral, vaginal or anal
The signs and symptoms may include:
Inflammation of the skin near or of the sexual organs
Itching, pain or burning sensation near the genitals while passing of urine
Sores or blisters near the sex organs
Symptoms may also include fever, muscle ache, headache and swollen glands
Herpes is diagnosed by the presence of the symptoms. The doctor may visually examine the local area affected by Herpes. In case there are no sores or ulcers, then a blood test may be suggested to check for the presence of the HSV1 and HSV2 virus.
There is no cure for Herpes. If somebody is infected by the virus even once, then it remains inactive in the body for long periods of time and will be triggered again by the presence of some factors. The triggers include vigorous or very active sex, illness, stress, surgery, diet and menstruation.
There are ‘periods’ of outbreaks of Herpes and the first outbreak may be long and painful while the other may be of shorter duration and the outbreaks decrease with time.
Herpes is commonly a sexually transmitted disease. Hence the following steps may help prevent its outbreak:
- Safe sex using a condom
- Avoiding of sex with a person who has open sores
- Avoiding multiple sex partners
Since this condition is easily transmitted by contact, the societies where physical contacts are common are bound to have this infection very easily.
In the Western countries Herpes is more common but people who are affected do not let this condition come in the way of their performance.
Joining a support group and sharing of experience with others who have overcome and are healthy now, helps in managing the condition well.