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STD/STI - Herpes

Why didn't someone warn me about this?
image of regretAny sex act with another person could give you this infection!

Street Names for Herpes

"Blisters"

Facts about Herpes

There are many types of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and 30 million Americans have the virus but not all cases are STDs. The most common are HSV-1 and HSV-2:

HSV-1
Oral Herpes - cold sore or fever blister on your lips. Can be passed to genitals - not always an STD
HSV-2
Genital herpes. Can be passed to the mouth. HSV-2 is sexually transmitted
  • Oral herpes can be passed to genitals, and genital herpes can be passed to the mouth, so both can be an STD.
  • There are about 500,000 new cases of HSV infection each year.
  • Herpes STD is treatable but incurable at this time. The symptoms and sores go away but they come back. Herpes lesions are like blisters full of fluid and are painful. There is no cure! Treatment helps relieve symptoms.
  • Not fatal in adults.
  • Infected women can pass infection to baby at birth causing blindness, brain damage, and death.
  • The virus never goes away but becomes reactive now and then and it is unpredictable when it will return.
  • Repeat symptoms are milder, lasts 4-14 days, starts with tingling, pain, itching.

Transmission

  • Stays in one spot in the body, usually where it first makes contact. The Herpes virus lives in the nerve sheaths where it first enters the skin.
  • Most people with Herpes may not know they are infected.
  • Spread by direct skin-to-skin contact.
  • HSV-2 is easily spread during sex.
  • Can be spread even when virus is on skin (symptoms may not be present).
  • Not spread by toilet seats, door knobs, bedding, pools, tubs, clothes, utensils, or blood transfusion.

Incubation

  • Enters skin surface and goes to nerve ganglion.
  • Remains in the nerve forever (that’s why Herpes infections hurt).
  • Blisters appear 2-10 days after having sex. Usually don’t feel bad during this time.
  • It's more common in women than men.

Images

image of herpesHerpes type 1 – common fever blister. Not an STD but can be passed from one person to another.

image of herpesHerpes type 2 blisters on the penis. Painful, highly infectious, and CANNOT BE CURED! Blisters will go away and return.

image of herpesMore type 2 blisters.

Symptoms

  • First outbreak of sores lasts 2-3 weeks.
  • Starts as tingling/burning feeling in penis, vaginal discharge in girls, pressure in abdomen, pain/sore buttocks, legs, or groin.
  • Red bumps at site of entrance. Bumps go to blisters or sores, scab over, then heal.
  • Symptoms worse in women than men.

Prevention

image of happy guy
  • Only 100% completely safe option - choose not to have sex!
  • Latex condoms help but the virus can be on uncovered skin.
  • Infected persons without symptoms can pass the virus.
  • See your doctor if you have questions or experience symptoms.

More information

image of doctorIf you have further questions or concerns about STD’s, ask Dr. Mike, an internationally known Clinical Microbiologist specializing in STDs. He has worked extensively with teenage boys and contributed all the information on the STD pages. (Change the (at) to @ and the (dot) to . in the email address below)

jmm8 (at) comcast (dot) net

Tell Dr Mike how old you are, what country you are from and then write your message. You will be emailing a specialist offering his time to help young guys! Your email will be treated confidentially and erased after he answers you!

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