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.
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 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.