What Is Anal Herpes?

Anal herpes causes sores and blisters around the anus. After the blisters break out, scabs form on them. Some blisters form ulcerations after they discharge the fluid.

There are other infections too that can cause lesions around the anus. Chancroid and Syphilis are capable of such infections. The symptoms for each one of them differ, but all of them manifest lesions around the anus.

All of them including “Anal Herpes” come from sexual contact with an infected person.

Anal herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-II), the same virus that causes Genital Herpes.

anal herpes

What is Anal Herpes

Symptoms of anal herpes

Pain and itching around the anus
Flu-like symptoms including mild fever preceding eruptions
Appearance of red bumps or blisters containing transparent fluids around anus
Scabs form after blister rupture or bleed
Ulcers develop at the place of original blisters

Diagnosis of Anal Herpes

The manifestation of symptoms of Anal Herpes varies in different individuals. The main difference is in severity. In average cases, where there is eruption around the anus, a physical examination by a physician can ensure an infection. If there is a history of anal sex in such a case, it’s anal herpes.

As several different sexually transmitted infections can cause anal eruptions, it’s difficult to ascertain that it’s HSV type 2. So, to ensure the course of treatment the precise cause of infection is to be ascertained. That needs a blood test.

In such a case, the blood sample is to be tested for possible Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and few other STDs. For anal symptoms, there can be more than one STIs. So, some doctors will conduct additional tests to verify that the symptoms are not the result of another type of infection.

After there is a positive result your doctor can discuss treatment options.

Transmission of Anal Herpes

Herpes Simplex Virus type II is responsible for Anal Herpes. It’s the same virus that causes Genital Herpes. However, everyone with genital herpes has not anal herpes.

Anal herpes is contagious; as contagious as Genital herpes. It is passed from an infected person to another through sexual contact. Once infected, the person is capable of infecting others through sexual contact even when the virus isn’t causing any symptoms.

As per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million Americans have HSV-II. Each year, an additional 776,000 Americans are diagnosed with a new case of the STI. These are modest numbers, the actual numbers are likely to be much more.

In the United States, one in four people has genital herpes.

Treatment of Anal Herpes

Once infected, the virus stays with the host for life. There is no possible cure for this virus so far.

The treatment concentrates on managing the painful symptoms during manifestations. The treatment ensures that the duration and intensity of the symptoms are considerably reduced so that the virus becomes manageable. Then it focuses on reducing the frequencies of relapses. When the virus is not active, passing the infection to a sexual partner is considerably reduced.

The therapy is primarily antiviral.

Once there is a positive diagnosis the antiviral medication starts. The pills reduce the intensity of the symptoms till the attack lasts. After the symptoms are gone, one has to still remain under medication for some time to subdue the virus. That reduces the chances of recurring outbreaks.

It’s a suppressive therapy, but that’s all is available as on date. If the outbreak of Anal Herpes is very severe, the treatment may include intravenous antiviral therapy. Here the medicine is injected into the bloodstream. This works faster.

If the antiviral treatment is taken immediately after an infection, the symptoms are not very painful. The blisters also disappear faster and the duration of the outbreak is considerably reduced. However, if neglected, the outbreak is very painful and takes quite some time to disappear completely.

Reduce Your Risk

As there is no cure for Anal herpes, it’s only wise to prevent an infection. One can lower the risk of an infection by practicing safe sex.

Following are few suggestions to keep you safe.

Wear a condom during every sexual encounter, whether vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Reduce your number of sexual partners. Don’t indulge with partners with unknown sexual status. If possible, practice monogamy.
Be in a relationship and be monogamous.
Get regular STI screenings. Regular std testing keeps you and your family safe.

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis virus

Hepatitis is a diseased condition of liver due to chronic and acute inflammation.  It can be two types — acute and chronic.

In acute hepatitis, the condition is mostly self-limiting. After a few week, the condition passes away without much medication. The damage to the liver may or may not be there. Most people make a full recovery and then remain immune from further HAV infections.

But in chronic hepatitis, the condition of liver erodes day by day and ends in permanent scarring. If not treated well, the acute condition progresses to fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Causes of Hepatitis

There are two main causes — toxic intakes and viral infection specific to the liver.

Our liver plays a very important role in food digestion and assimilation. It’s the “Chemical Laboratory”  of our body. If any poison or toxins enter our body, the liver is the organ to save us. It is designed to break down poisonous substances into manageable chemicals and throw them safely out of our body. In this way drugs, alcohol, toxic substances are prevented from damaging our body.

Now, about the viruses that can cause hepatitis.

There are 5 different viruses that can cause hepatitis. They are referred to as hepatitis virus type A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis virus types B and C cause chronic hepatitis in hundreds of millions of people. They are the common cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis virus A and E cause acute hepatitis. They enter our body through ingestion of contaminated food or water, infected body fluid, and other plant and animal toxins. Receipt of contaminated blood transfusion, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment are some of the other modes of transmission of hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis B can transmit from mother to baby during gestation and at birth, from a close family member or relative to the child, and also by intimate sexual contact. This is the reason, Hepatitis is  considered an STD.

Hepatitis symptoms

Hepatitis symptoms are very mild, almost imperceptible, in the first stage, when there is no major damage to the liver.

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mild to high fever — 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Feeling of being unwell
  • Headaches related to indigestion
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin as in Jaundice

Symptoms of chronic hepatitis can include:

  • Feeling unusually tired all the time
  • Depression
  • Chronic Jaundice
  • A general sense of feeling unwell

What are the different hepatitis viruses?

So far, medical research has identified 5 unique hepatitis viruses, ranging from hepatitis A to E. Primarily, all of them cause diseased conditions of the liver, but that’s not all. In chronic conditions, they can affect other areas of our body.

Hepatitis A virus, HAV, primarily enters our body through the alimentary canal, through consumption of contaminated water or food. Certain types of raw or uncooked food are the carriers of this virus too. The virus remains present in the feces of infected persons thereafter, but gradually it can permeate to other parts of the body. Even organs pertaining to urinary and reproductive functions are infected in chronic conditions. So, HAV can also spread through sexual contact.

In some cases of HAV the patient makes a full recovery after a few weeks, but in some cases, the condition worsens and becomes life-threatening. With better living conditions such as clean living with better sanitation, clean food and drinking water can keep an HAV infection away. We have a vaccine for HAV that can prevent the disease altogether.

Hepatitis B virus, HBV, is transmitted through exposure to infected body fluids such as infective blood, blood plasma, and semen.  HBV causes congenital hepatitis, mostly from mother to child. It can transmit through needle pricks infected with HBV. HBV also has an effective vaccine.

Hepatitis C virus, HCV,  mainly transmits through infected blood or blood-related products. The reasons of transmission are same as HBV but mostly limited to blood and blood-related infections. Transmission through sex or semen is very rare, but can’t be ruled out. So far, there is no vaccine for HCV.

Hepatitis D virus, HDV, can infect people who are already infected with HBV. If somebody is infected with both HDV and HBV, he is in a very serious health condition. The outcome is very unpredictable.  HDV doesn’t have a separate vaccine, it can be protected with the same vaccine used for HBV prevention.

Hepatitis E virus, HEV,  transmits through contaminated food and water,  just as HAV.  HEV is the predominant cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developed countries, but developing countries are not free from its infection. HEV has a preventive, a safe vaccine but, this is not yet widely available for all.

syphilis blood test

When a Syphilis Test is ordered?

A test is essential when someone:

  • Has syphilis symptoms —  when there is a chancre on the genitals or throat.
  • Is either infected with or being treated for another STD — such as gonorrhea or HIV.
  • Is pregnant. A test is mandatory as CDC recommends, purely to protect the baby from a possible infection.
  • Has non-specific symptoms that resemble or point to those of syphilis. Such a test can help in determining the exact cause of the illness.
  • Is a man, who has anal sex with men.
  • Has engaged in a high-risk sexual activity, whether man or woman.
  • Has one or more partners who have tested positive for syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, or other such STDs.

As per CDC recommendations, periodical follow-up testing for such cases is essential. When a person has been treated for syphilis in the past, a follow-up testing helps in ensuring that treatment is successful and the infection cured.


In people who are sexually active, they should consult a doctor about any suspicious rash or sore in the genital area. A chancre on the genital most probably indicated a syphilis infection but that’s not the only STD which causes genital sores and rashes. There are many other sexually transmitted diseases besides syphilis.

If you are tested positive, tell your sexual partner(s) to get tested as quickly as possible. That’s the least you can do to save a spouse. This is a must to stop the spread of the disease.

Why It Is Done

Syphilis bacteria can spread through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. If not treated in time, syphilis is capable of causing terminal heart attacks, brain damage, bone and spinal cord damage, complete blindness, and death.

The risk of contracting other STDs increases if you have syphilis. This STD prepares the ground for the invasion other STDs.  When chancres are present, you are at least 10 times more likely to be infected with HIV, if exposed. So, if you have them, you should be tested for HIV.

How a Syphilis test is done

A test for syphilis is done to Screen for syphilis or check treatment for a syphilis infection. A screening test helps the doctor to look for a certain disease or condition before the real symptoms manifest. This increases our chance of finding the infection before we are forced to test for syphilis. An advanced diagnosis can save precious time in treating the patients for a full recovery before permanent damage is done to organs and tissues.

Methods Used:

There are two types of tests used for confirming the infections. The first one searches for the antibodies and the other method searches for the Treponema pallidum bacteria or genetic materials from the bacteria.

Why are there two methods instead of one?

In the early stages of infection with Treponema pallidum, our body is not in a state of producing sufficient antibodies. The time taken by the human body to produce syphilis antibodies varies considerably. This period is called the Syphilis Window period, which varies between 2 to 90 days. Some people show up the antibodies as quickly as 2 days and some take as long as 90 days for the same. But after 90 days almost everybody shows up the antibodies.

As it is not possible to determine the window period for a particular STD in each individual, so we use two different methods to determine an infection. If one method tests negative we try out the other. Even if someone tests positive, the other method is used to confirm the result. Otherwise, it is considered a false positive. But in both the cases, the individual has to undergo another test in 90 days.

Screening for Syphilis:

Antibody tests: These tests detect antibodies in the blood serum (Serology test) and sometimes in the cerebrospinal fluid. This test is taken if the history of infection indicates that the patient is well beyond the window period. If the individual doesn’t display the detectable amount of antibodies, then there can be two reasons.

  1. He is well within the Window period.
  2. He is not infected.

So, the individual has to undergo the following test.

Diagnosis Syphilis Test:

The purpose of this test is to detect the Treponema pallidum bacteria or its genetic materials. In early stages of Syphilis, there may not be sufficient antibodies, so an antibody test will most likely come out negative. To avoid such false negatives, this test searches for the bacteria itself in the test samples taken from the chancre or genital sore. A special instrument called a dark-field microscope is used to detect the bacteria.

Home Syphilis Test:

There is a home testing method that can be done at home with a Syphilis rapid test kit. These kits are equally accurate and use a blood test similar to the lab method for syphilis testing.

Sometimes, testing for syphilis alone may not be enough, so you have to test for HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia additionally. Some home kits come as a test bundle kit with the following for these STDs combined.

This bundle contains the following tests:

  • 2 x HIV Rapid Test
  • Chlamydia Test
  • Gonorrhea Test
  • Syphilis Test

Read about the details of each type of Syphilis test here.

Syphilis Rash on back

Syphilis symptoms can never point out what a deadly killer this disease can be! It is often called “the great imitator” and there are valid reasons for that. Because these symptoms are often confused with symptoms of other diseases considered less dangerous. In real life situations, one can never get an inkling of a possible Syphilis infection if he is not looking out for signs of Syphilis.

As per United States Center for Disease Control, this STD is far more dangerous than it looks to be. In 2006 alone, the CDC recorded more than 36,000 cases. Out of that, nearly, there were 10,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis. Both men are women are equally affected by this disease is, however, it is very common in women between 20 to 24 years of age. In men, the 35 to 40 age category is the common victim. Like any other STDs, this disease propagates through direct sexual contact of very intimate nature. It may be any of the three– vaginal, oral or rectal sex.

Syphilis Symptoms

Syphilis has three distinct stages with subtle but different symptoms. People who do not recognize the early symptoms remain untreated for a considerable time so the disease enters the latent stage. Its onslaught on each sex is as devastating as the other, however, syphilis symptoms in women are more marked than syphilis symptoms in men.

First Stage of Syphilis

The first symptoms of syphilis is a painless sore mostly on genitals. It can appear on the tongue if the infection took place due to oral sex.  It is popularly believed that the sore, that resembles an ulcer, appears at the spot where the disease first entered the body. This is called a chancre.

On an average, first symptoms take around 21 days, however, the sore appears between 10 and 90 days after exposure to the bacteria. It is not unusual for people to have several sores, but in most cases, there is a single sore. It is usually painless and small. If not treated, it disappears in 3-6 weeks, on its own. Because it is painless and disappears without any medicine, people often do not consider it to be serious, so they do not seek medical advice. Even if the chancre heals, the bacteria remains inside the body and thrives. Now, it progresses to the second stage.

Second Stage of Syphilis

In this stage, the disease manifests a wide range of symptoms. Each of these assorted symptoms indicates some other simpler disease. This stage is referred to as the secondary stage of Syphilis. There are lesions on the mucous membranes. There are rashes on different parts of the skin. In some cases, the complete body is covered with rashes. They are so faint that it is difficult to notice them in some cases. The strange part is
Syphilis Rash may not have proportionate itching. These rashes appear to be dry livid and grey patches without much activity at the area. Secondary symptoms of Syphilis include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches. With this fever or feverish conditions come blisters, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. In some cases, there may be hair loss in patches.

Third Stage of Syphilis: Latent Syphilis

If it is left untreated at this stage, it will enter into a stage with no further visible symptoms. During this period, the disease takes up very destructive and evil turn. It is difficult to say how long the disease will sleep in this condition, but it’s very long period. This is called the latent stage. During this stage, infected people don’t manifest many symptoms and they don’t spread the disease. The disease is still present in them and they can be effectively treated.

Later Stage of Syphilis

This stage appears in people after a very long period, say about 10 to 20 years after the initial symptoms. Such cases are less in number, less than 25%. This is also called as the constitutional stage. During this stage, Syphilis doesn’t spare any internal organ, even brain. It affects the heart, blood vessels, eyes, liver, joints, bones, and nerves too. So, there are motor dysfunctions such as difficulty in coordinating muscle movements and partial or complete paralysis. There also can be sensory dysfunctions such as complete numbness or in patches. The onset of blindness also comes as a result. Due to the affection of the brain, there comes confusion, loss of memory, and dementia. All these organ damages lead to death in the final stage.

Syphilis Testing

The disease can be detected through a simple STD screening that includes examining cells from a lesion or chancre in the first two stages of syphilis, and blood tests during any stage of syphilis. If detected during the first year, a single shot of penicillin will eradicate the disease and prevent further damage. Because the early symptoms can be so vague and mistaken for other illnesses, the CDC says that it is extremely important for sexually active teens as well as adults whose behavior might increase their risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases to schedule regular Syphilis testing to screen for syphilis. Routine, regular STD testing can detect early enough to prevent permanent damage from the disease.

what is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

More than 50% of cases of infertility comes from PID alone. It’s a nightmare for a woman to know, but it’s true. The name “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease” refers to pelvis and inflammation, but it can hardly indicate the range of destruction it can cause to the reproductive system of a woman. Once the tissue is affected, the condition is more or less permanent unless corrected by surgery, but the chances are low for a full recovery. No woman wants to lose her capacity to motherhood, so it’s better to know how to prevent this condition.

What is PID?

PID is the inflammation of the female reproductive system, especially uterus, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. The common seat of inflammation is either the ovaries or the fallopian tubes. A common condition called Salpingitis is a result of this inflammation when fallopian tubes are affected. Either tube is narrowed or totally blocked. Pelvic inflammatory disease can come from any STD or from bacterial vaginitis. BV results in the ascension of microorganisms from the cervix and vagina to the upper genital tract. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the two probable STDs to cause this state.

It’s easier to prevent than to get a cure. This condition primarily comes from bacterial infections and causes induration or a fibroid condition of ovaries too. The primary inflammation causes scarring if the condition is not treated in time. This is a permanent damage to the reproductive system is irreversible. It can only be treated successfully by surgery in some cases.

The uterus is also not free from this scarring. There are other organs and tissues which get affected by this scarring. The inexplicable pelvic pain that women experience, comes from the process of scarring during a PID onslaught. During the primary inflammation state, it’s treatable with antibiotics and treatments same as used to treat other bacterial infections. Acute ruptures in the fallopian tube due to ectopic pregnancy can only be with surgery.

Causes of PID

PID can come from a wide array of microorganisms, so it’s considered a polymicrobial infection. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are very similar in their manifestation and very similar in nature. Both are caused by bacteria and both are capable of causing PID.

Neisseria gonorrhea and Chlamydia trachomatis have been identified to be present in women with PID infections almost half of the times. Other anaerobic organisms which cause bacterial vaginosis in women have also been found in women with PID. Latest developments in medicine indicate that Mycoplasm genitalium may also be responsible for milder cases of PID. All in all, this is a complication mainly caused by bacteria responsible for infection of the vaginal tract.

Frequent vaginal douching can disturb the vaginal flora because it disturbs the normal chemical and microbial balance of the vagina. It also increases the chances of PID.

Women use douching to clean their vagina from time to time. The techniques used are different in different women. A wide variety of techniques are used with different cleaning agents and liquids. Use of plain cold water is common. Some use lukewarm water for better comfort and better cleaning. Some women may use diluted vinegar or various antiseptics. It may involve a non-pressurized rinsing to a high-pressure jet. It is always risky, but women do it anyway when they want to get rid of the foul odor. If the odor is due to a BV, they increase the chances of PID.

What are the Symptoms of PID?

  • Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Excess and foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sex
  • Lower back pain
  • Fever and other general signs of infection with exhaustion

Risk factors for PID

Sexually active teenagers are more prone to this than women ranging between 25- to 29 years of age. The probable cause for this seems that the reproductive tracts of young teens are fully developed to deal with pathogens and bacteria.

African-American women seem to be in the high-risk category of PID. This may be due to their ethnicity or biological factors. They use regular douching which may be a possible cause for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

The relationship between PID and infertility is established beyond doubt, but there may be “Nay-Sayers,” as there are always a few, but it’s ultimately your life. Women generally want a baby at mature age except for the ones with the “teen-mom” desire. What if they discover their infertility at too old an age? Pelvic Inflammatory Disease takes hold of the female reproductive system at a younger age when they least expect it. The last word, prevent it! That’s the easiest way to do it. If you have the slightest reason to believe that you might have contacted Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, get an STD Testing.

Note: Even if everything seems normal an extra STD test doesn’t hurt. Considering the risk factors and the future expenses the amount you spend on testing is nothing.


orasure hiv test types

The Orasure HIV test can be conducted in two ways. First, with the Oraquick  rapid HIV test kit. You can buy this kit and conduct a test at home. These kits are available online and are suitable for an  Insti HIV test  in less than half an hour.

Second, the  “oral mucosal transudate testing.” You have to use a sample of oral mucus obtained with a cotton pad, specially treated, that is placed between the cheek and lower gum, preferably for two minutes. Then this sample is sent to a lab to undergo an ELISA procedure. If tested positive for ELISA, these samples undergo a Western Blot test which is a confirmatory test. The same pad is used for the WB test too.

The Orasure HIV test is the fastest and the easiest. An accurate STD test in 20 minutes! It can’t be faster than that. No driving to a test lab and no registration hassles. No stress of being exposed and no need to answer embarrassing questions. With an Oraquick HIV test kit at hand, testing is just a snap. Looking for an Insti HIV test? Look no further.


The OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody test kit is designed to detect antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2. On an average, it takes not more than 20 minutes to deliver a result that can be as reliable as it can get. It provides more than 99% accuracy which betters the standard test accuracy in HIV testing.

Flexibility in testing is the main advantage of an Orasure HIV test. This makes it ideal for testing in non-traditional testing environments. Guess what the mobile testing clinics use? So, there is no better solution for outreach programs offered by NGOs, institutions, and other non-profit organizations.

Why are these kits patient preferred? Well, what do patients hate most? Needles. These kits offer patients a painless accurate HIV result without the need for blood or needles.

What makes it ideal for both clinical and home testing environment is it’s designed to use a wide range of specimens for both HIV-1 and HIV-2. It’s approved for oral fluids or any other mucosal swabs which makes it ideal for non-clinical settings. For clinical use, it’s ideal too, because it can use finger-sticks or venipuncture whole blood specimens as well as blood plasma. Most of the test labs who send a kit home for HIV testing, send an Oraquick HIV test kit.

These kits are FDA approved, so they are safe to use. You can rest assured that you are not going to get scammed by a junk kit.


The disadvantages are very negligible looking at the positives.

A test within the window period tests non-reactive or negative. You must know the date of infection to ascertain the window period.

These kits are not widely available and it takes time, sometimes pre-ordering, to get one delivered at home.

A positive result with an Orasure test kits does not mean that you are definitely infected with HIV. So also, a negative result doesn’t mean that you are definitely not infected. There are reasons for these. These kits look for antibodies of HIV-1 and HIV-2. When the exposure is recent, particularly when it may have been within the last 3 months, in all certainty, there are not enough antibodies developed. In such conditions you test negative.


A negative test result doesn’t guarantee a future immunity. If you regularly engage in activities that put you at risk for HIV, you must test regularly.

Don’t use this kit to arrive at a decision, such as using a condom is safe or so and so method is safe because you got a negative test result. These are wrong analogies and this may put you at increased risk for HIV.

Note: The saliva pack contains antibodies to HIV only, not HIV itself. HIV can’t be transmitted through these fluids.



HIV may be the most dreaded for STD in the US but genital herpes is the most common and more prevalent. To add insult to injury, it’s the most painful and frustrating among all STDs. Its main frustration comes from frequent eruptions around genitals, mouth, or rectum. You can manage it for some time, shorten the outbreaks, and minimize the painful condition for each outbreak, but there’s no permanent relief from this as there are no cures to genital herpes so far.

A recent study, however, seems hopeful for the victims of this STD. A subtype of immune cells, as researchers say, seem to have the power to suppress this painful outbreaks. These newly identified cells seem to have a profound effect on HSV-2 or genital herpes.

This discovery is no small feat. A painful and incurable disease such as genital herpes is very bothersome. If you find some means to control it beyond a certain point, it is as good as a cure. But the good thing is that this discovery can lead to a possible vaccine for HSV-2. What else can an individual with this STI ask for?

The newfound CD8??+ T-cells

These newly identified T-cells are called CD8??+ T-cells. They promise more breakthroughs in near future though we don’t have much information about them at present. Once turned on, they create all sorts of antiviral substances and antibodies. Dr. Larry Corey who is an internationally renowned virologist and president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, claims that this can be a possible breakthrough we are looking for.

We can only get a relapse when the HSV-2 reactivates. At the point of reactivation of this virus, these cells are the first to act to contain this virus. These T-cells are very fast and effective in their reaction. They are capable of containing the virus even before they reach the skin. This refocuses our attention from the “ganglion level of the spinal canal area” to the new T-cells. These CD8??+ T-cells are located in the DEJ – the layer of tissue just below the skin’s surface. This conclusion comes from the research of Dr. Corey and his colleagues.

This test is a type of laser capture of the tissue from the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ.) It’s the place where the outer layer of skin (dermis) – connects to the epidermis. These cells that are located in the DEJ are responsible for controlling HSV-2, so this implies that herpes reactivation is controlled in the skin, not the ganglions in the spine.

A possible HSV-2 Vaccine

This research made another startling discovery– these T-cells (CD8??+) are programmed to remain in the skin surrounding the genitals at all times, so they are the resident memory T-cells. Their presence also makes sense about the asymptomatic recurrences of genital herpes. These cells are persistently on “immune surveillance” to seek and destroy HSV-2.

Dr. Corey says, “The real implication here is that the way herpes seems to act is that the virus is actually reactivating very frequently. The human immune response is containing it most of the time.” This finding corrects the older belief — “herpes reactivated once a month.” In the present condition, we can say the virus actually reactivates at least once in a week or at least in a few days than earlier believed. An outbreak can confirm a reduced number of CD8??+ T-cells at that point of time, so the eruption could not be contained.

The earlier findings of CD8??+ T-cells were associated with the study of blood circulation. These cells were known to exist in the gut mucosa. Dr. Corey and his team are the first to link them to the skin. We have to now find out ways to increase the presence of the cells in our immune system. If we succeed we can have the first breakthrough towards the much awaited HSV vaccine.

At least, this can be the starting point to guide an idea towards a test vaccine. If we can find a way to increase the number or function of these T-cells that would be one route we would want to take first. Like many other vaccines, this method would ensure safety from any side effects. This vaccine can help people to almost go without outbreaks, even when the stage of genital herpes is most contagious.

Even though this vaccine may not cure those of HSV-2, it could ultimately help stop the spread of it. With a CDC figure of 776,000 people in the United States added to the “infected with herpes” group each year, it is mean task if we can stop the infection of HSV.



What is Syphilis?


what is syphilis

what is syphilis

Very few people know that Syphilis can be more destructive than HIV.

It is no ordinary STD. It can be called the mother of all STDs. Though Gonorrhea  can contest for the position, yet I consider syphilis to be the root of all STDs, because it spares no area or organ in the human body.

This may sound very unscientific to many because every STD has its unique bacteria or virus, but there are other factors which makes these STDs are very similar. These micro-organisms not only replicate in human body but also create a susceptibility for future infections. The first infection of a STD renders the individual very susceptible to other venereal diseases. So, other than the susceptibility it causes, following are the causes for such a consideration.

The first reason for such a consideration is that  Syphilis is very very old. Throughout the history of the human race, you can find the references to the presence of syphilis. Some of the cases of leprosy or lepra were actually Syphilis in its tertiary stage but misdiagnosed.

However, the primary reason for such a consideration is that syphilis is very destructive. The extent to which syphilis can destroy human body is unimaginable for a common man. It can affect soft tissues, bones, teeth, skin, and vital organs like brain, eyes, liver, and almost any organ. It can completely destroy, deform, and disfigure the man body over time. It can destroy a human being physically as well as mentally. The symptoms of all other STDs can be found in a vast array of symptoms of syphilis.

The third reason is syphilis is caused by bacteria. The bacteria are primitive hence older than the evolution of viruses. The primitiveness of this disease confirms it is too old. The diseases caused by the virus are complicated and sophisticated, hence latest in origin. On the other hand, diseases caused by bacteria are comparatively simple and primitive. Probably, this simple STD has evolved with time to give rise to complicated viruses such as HIV and HSV.

Syphilis bacteria

Syphilis bacteria morphology

The cause of infection of this STD is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. This bacteria is a spirochete. This s spiral shaped. This shape helps it to be highly mobile.

It can attack the human cells from both the sides of his long body. It has a head like structures at both ends.  Next to that is the insertion point that helps in attacking the cell membrane and penetrate it. The “axial filaments” help it in locomotion. It has bulbous growths at the outer side which is called the “balloon body.” The inner side of the coil is called the “intestinal mesosome” and the outside is call the “laminated mesosome.” The laminated mesosome is for its own protection from outside attacks on it. This is, though primitive, a well-developed bacterium.

How syphilis attacks us

The most common way of syphilis infection is intimate sexual contact, either natural or unnatural. This includes vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can also be passed to a person through prolonged physical contact with an infected person. Prolonged kissing with an infected person is no exception.

Other possible causes of contacting syphilis are sharing infected needles or infected sex toys with an infected person. Infected blood transfusions can be a direct cause of infections too.

However, that’s not the only one. An infected mother invariably passes it to her child. Such children are born with the disease. This is called congenital or neonatal  Syphilis. If the state of the mother is very advanced, say she has advanced to tertiary Syphilis state, then the child may be stillborn or if alive, can come with severe health problems. Such children have a very short lifespan and may die shortly after labor.

Syphilis is a highly contagious disease, but it needs direct contact. It can never propagate from a donor to a victim t survive for long without a host, it cannot propagate by sharing toilets, bathtubs, clothing, and utensils.

How common is it?

The number of reported cases of syphilis has risen substantially in the U.S.A in the past decade. There has been a regular increase in the number of cases, but they are considerably less in comparison to a number of cases of HIV. Men who have sex with men are very prone to this infection.

It is seen that people with this infection have some common complications. They are very prone to HIV, at least three to five times more in comparison to people who are clean. The cause for this is that the genital sores/chancres caused by syphilis can further crack and bleed during an intercourse. This open wound makes it easier for the HIV virus  to enter the blood easily during any sort of sexual activity.

If somebody contacts both HIV and syphilis, it can be really serious, because syphilis can progress much more rapidly under such conditions.

Preventing syphilis

The surest way to beat a syphilis infection is to say “NO” to form of sexual contact. Otherwise one can choose to have sexual contact with a partner who is clean and remains faithful thereafter.

One can minimize the risk of contracting any other sexually transmitted diseases by sticking to the following time-tested practices:

  • Use a male/female condom during sex
  • Use a dental dam, generally a square of plastic, during kissing or oral sex
  • Avoid sex toys or needles used by others

Best way to get rid of this killer STD is to detect it early by STD testing, and then go for appropriate treatment. Otherwise, it hides itself so you don’t feel the need to pay attention. It uses this time to attack and destroy those areas of the body first that it can access easily. It’s like a dangerous enemy who keeps bugging your home when you look elsewhere. When it reaches the “secondary stage,” it manifests again with some acute symptoms, but by then it becomes difficult to annihilate.

It keeps your attention away by imitating other diseases and for most of the time, it keeps you confused. What makes it the deadliest of all STDs is that it makes permanent changes to your body and your major organs; even your brain is not spared. It doesn’t stop till its victim lies dead.

Syphilis is neither difficult to diagnose nor cure. You can a get a  Home Syphilis Test Kit and get a diagnosis in about as quickly as 15 to 20 minutes. After a conclusive diagnosis, you can consult a doctor to start your treatment.  You have to get early antibiotic treatment.


What is Herpes?


When people start searching for information on Herpes, they are scared, but they hardly know how troublesome it can be. There are many opinions about whether Herpes is innocuous or dangerous, but all agree on the fact that an infection such as Herpes simplex or genital herpes is quite bothersome. Once you are infected, it stays with you forever.

what is herpes

As per the official data, one individual in each four is infected with herpes. This seems alarming but it hardly says the complete range of suffering a patient undergoes. Chlamydia is considered to be most prevalent of all STDs, but Herpes, as well as HIV, compete closely with it.

What is Herpes?

Herpes is an STD. Well, that’s too common a fact, but it indicates one thing. The propagation or the infection occurs due to sexual contact. Sexual intercourse of any nature, whether anal, vaginal or oral in gay, lesbian or heterosexual individuals with an infected person can trigger an infection.

Clean and tidy sexual habit on your part when you have sex with an infected partner can save you for a couple of times but not for long. People say condoms can protect, but that’s a myth.

The body fluids from any orifice of an infected person carry the infecting agent, the virus. When your mucous membrane or open tissue comes in contact with these infected fluids the infection gets it into your system.

A viral infection is different from a bacterial infection. Some STDs, say gonorrhea and syphilis, come from bacterial infections. Their manifestation is quite different from that of STDs which come from viral infections. The bacterial STDs respond to normal antibiotic treatment and are considered curable. On the other hand, STDs that come from viral infections are mostly incurable and in most of the cases very obstinate.

Herpes manifests symptoms around oral mucous membranes, skin, and tongue. In some cases, the manifestations are on the skin. When the disease comes from sexual activities, it manifests symptoms around male and female genitals and popularly known as genital herpes. That’s not all. The virus also affects the nerves of its victim and as on date, it’s difficult to ascertain its complete neurological impact. The herpes virus is known as Herpes Simplex virus or HSV. It has 2.5 stains which are responsible for 2 herpes and a similar manifestation of herpes.

In the following paragraphs, you will find the details of each type of herpes.

What is Herpes Simplex?

You have seen cold sores. They are generally considered as a form of Herpes, Herpes Simplex or HSV-1. People are apt to associate cold sores with oral herpes, but that may not be the case always. Ulceration of mouth can come from many other reasons, even from gonorrhea and syphilis. It may also come from simple indispositions in health.

herpes simplex

Herpes simplex manifests after one is infected with HSV. The incubation is very short, maybe a week. It affects the mucous membranes inside the mouth and the skin around. The main seat is the place where skin meets the mucous membrane or where two types of skin tissue meet. These are places such as the lips, the corner of the mouth, and the upper and lower lip ridges.

This infection is considered a simple form of herpes but it keeps coming again and again. When there is stress on the body vitality, the virus attacks promptly. The symptoms manifest for a week or two then goes away altogether. This stage is considered the first stage of genital herpes, but it may never develop into HSV-2.

What is Genital Herpes?

This malady is popularly known as HSV-2 as the virus responsible for this infection is named so. This disease is complicated. When people say Herpes, they actually mean genital Herpes. Genital Herpes is a chronic condition. Chronicity, in medicine, means a condition for life, if not cured. In acute conditions, the disease subsides with or without medical treatment or it may kill the person infected, but when the disease is chronic it progresses very slowly and may or may not respond to the treatment. It stays with the patient till death or until cured.

Well, now back to genital Herpes.

This may initially manifest as HSV-1 and then progress to HSV-2, but the primary cause of infection is intimate sexual contact. If someone goes into oral sex with an infected person, he or she develops pronounced oral symptoms. After the first manifestation, the condition subsides as any other acute disease, but there are periodic relapses. The remission periods get longer and longer over time and each relapse decreases in intensity. This is a trend with all chronic diseases. This comes from the weakening of the body vitality either due to drug effect or the onslaught of the virus.

After the prodome, the virus mostly remains dormant except for the brief relapse, but the disease remains highly contagious. So, whether the host has blisters on genitals or not, he or she can always infect a sex partner. Genital Herpes is dreaded for its painful state. Other than that people don’t find it bothersome, but that’s a myth. If this remains untreated for a longer period, this may create a state where the patient may develop susceptibility to HIV.

What is Herpes Zoster?

This infection is the half stain I mentioned earlier. It comes from a virus which belongs to the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae. This virus is quite similar but is not HSV. The same virus is the cause of Chickenpox in humans.

Herpes Zoster is the chronic condition of Chickenpox. After the first manifestation of its acute state, it subsides and stays latent for some time before it comes back as Zoster. This is also known as Shingles or Zona.

It’s the warning from the experts that, most infections come from unsuspecting donors. People who infect others are generally not aware that they are infected. It’s quite credible as infected people in most cases don’t suspect an infection because there are hardly any painful symptoms. Some people at the time of infection don’t experience clearly marked changes except some flu-like symptoms.

The only way to be sure whether you are clean of or infected by herpes is to get tested for Herpes. The symptoms may indicate a presence but it can’t confirm it, so before you can seek treatment you should get Herpes testing at a reliable FDA approved agency.

What is Herpes Zoster?

This is not true Herpes because the virus which is responsible for the infection is not a stain of HSV. The virus responsible is called Varicella zoster virus or VZV which causes Chickenpox. It’s popularly referred to as Shingles or Zona.

Herpes Zoster rash

The acute stage of infection by this virus is called chickenpox, but it has a chronic stage too. After the pox stage subsides, the virus goes into hibernation to erupt later at a suitable time. The virus seeks to refuse in the nerve cell bodies till the secondary eruptions take place. These eruptions are quite different than the pox stage and the symptoms are very different.

Why is Shingles named Herpes Zoster?

  • Both HSV and VZV share a common origin, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae.
  • Both these viruses have similar eruptions, watery blisters in crops.
  • The eruption occurs on a single side, on skin supplied by one set of spinal nerves. When the blisters subside the area may experience nerve pains.
  • After the first infection, they stay latent and erupt again when the individual’s vitals go weak.
  • They both predominantly affect the nerves and travel through the nerves.

One can’t get infected with zoster by someone who has it. However, there’s a chance that a person with Shingles can give the virus to another who hasn’t had Chickenpox vaccine or Chickenpox.

Herpes Zoster symptoms

Symptoms of shingles come in stages. First symptoms to appear may be acute photophobia with a mild headache. There may be flu-like symptoms without marked fever.

After this stage, one may feel itching, tingling, or pain in localized spots. Then, a rash may occur a few days later in a band or strip-like area. Then the rash turns into crops of blisters. The blisters fill with watery fluid and a few days later they crust over. The blisters take 2 to 4 weeks to heal. It may leave scars. Some get only a mild rash, and some do not get any rash at all.

These symptoms accompany dizziness. It affects clarity of mind and it takes effort to focus one’s mind on mental works. This may come with blurry vision with heaviness of head. If you have any of these problems from Shingles, you must immediately consult your doctor.

Treatment for Shingles

Herpes Zoster has a vaccine which is considered the most effective way to handle this infection. This minimizes the chances of infection and post-herpetic neuralgia.  If you can prevent this infection it’s the best thing you can do to yourself.

The second best alternative is antiviral drug treatment, but the treatment needs at least a week to ten days to handle the rash and post-herpetic neuralgia if taken within 72 hours of appearance of the rash.

To heal the rashes and minimize pain you need to have good home care in addition to medication. You must keep the sores clean at all times and take care that the crust does not break too often. Take medicines regularly as directed by the doctor and take plenty of rest. If pain increases considerably, you can start a course of painkillers.

You can keep the following points in mind to minimize your chances of getting Shingles.

  • If you had chicken pox in the past you are prone to it.
  • People above 50 years of age may contact Shingles easily, so stay vaccinated.
  • If you have a weak immune system you are more chances of getting infected, so get the vaccine.
  • If you already contacted Shingles getting vaccinated reduces pain and further chances of infection in future.

This sickness is not as prevalent as other strains of herpes. The number of cases reported every year ranges from 1.2 to 3.4 cases per thousand. However, in people older than 65 years, the reported cases show an increasing trend, from 3.9 to 11.8 per thousand individuals per year.