Awareness of Herpes.

Full Name: Herpes Simplex Virus I and Herpes Simplex Virus II. HSV-I is most often associated with cold sores or fever blisters about the mouth and lips, while HSV-II is associated with sores around the gential area. There is some crossover, however, and each virus will survive quite comfortably in both regions.

Incubation Period

5 to 10 days, but rarely longer than four weeks. You can see symptoms quite quickly.

Transmission

Generally by sexual contact. Direct contact with infected genitals can cause transmission via intercourse, rubbing genitals together, oral genital contact, anal sex, or oral/anal contact. In addition, normally protected areas of skin can become infected if there is a cut, rash, sore. Herpes viruses can be spread in some instances by kissing, if one participant has the infection sited in or near the mouth. Hand-washing is extremely important if you have herpes.

Symptoms

Herpes is marked by clusters of small, painful blisters on the genitals. After a few days, the blisters burst, leaving small ulcers. In men, the blisters usually appear on the penis, but can appear in the urethra or rectum. In women, they usually appear on the labia, but can appear on the cervix and anal area. First outbreaks are accompanied by fever, headache, and muscle soreness for two or more consecutive days in 39% of men and 68% of women

Other relatively common symptoms include painful urination discharge from the urethra or vagina, and tender, swollen lymph nodes in the groin. These symptoms tend to disappear within two weeks.
Aseptic meningitis occurs in 8 percent of cases, eye infections in 1% of cases, and infection of the cervix in 88% of infected women. Skin lesions last on average 16.5 days in men, 19.7 in women. Secondary symptoms are most prominent in the first four days and then gradually diminish.

Outbreaks

Outbreaks of herpes can be brought on by stress, sunlight, sickness or after eating certain food. During an outbreak there is at first a burning, itching sensation with redness in the affected area. In a day, painful, red clusters of fluid-filled blisters appear. Within three weeks, these scab over and heal up, leaving a red scar that goes away with time. The virus hides in your body until the next time it decides to come out. In the vagina there may be some discharge, itching and burning sensations, along with feelings of pressure in the genital area. If the blisters are inside the urethra (where you pee) there may be intense pain when you pee.

Treatment

"Herpes is for Life." Herpes can be treated, but it can not be cured. Medication (Zovirax) can make the sores go away faster, and make it so that you have them less times per year.
Treatment with Valacyclovir (Valtrex) reduces pain and viral reproduction during outbreaks of sores, although it will not delay or prevent recurrences.

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