is not as simple as a few uncomfortable sores.
What is genital
is a sexually transmitted disease or (STD), caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2).
is caused by type 2. Genital herpes is NOT always sexually transmitted, and it can’t be called a venereal disease because that is not correct.
When doctors talk about herpes simplex 1, versus herpes simplex 2, they’re not talking about 2 different viruses, they’re just identifying what part of the body it manifests on.
Herpes simplex 1 is the cold sore and herpes simplex 2 refers to the “genital herpes.”
Most people have no or minimal signs or symptoms from a HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.
Signs usually appear as one or more blisters around the genitals or rectum.
The blisters break, leaving tender ulcers (sores) that take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur.
The next outbreak may not appear for weeks or months after the first, but it almost always is less severe and shorter than the first.
Although the infection can stay in the body indefinitely, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease over a period of years.
How common is genital herpes?
Unfortunately, genital herpes infection is common in the United States. About one out of six people, 14 to 49 years of age, have genital HSV-2 infection.
Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women than in men.
Transmission from an infected male to his female partner is more likely than the other way around.
How do people get genital herpes?
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be released from the sores that the viruses cause, but they’re also released between outbreaks, from skin that doesn’t appear to have a sore.
Typically, a person can only get the HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection.
Transmission can occur from an infected partner who doesn’t realize they have it, since there may be no visible sores at the time of contact.
HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but more commonly, it causes infections of the mouth and lips. (“fever blisters.”)
Most people infected with the HSV-2 are not even aware of their infection.
The first signs of outbreak usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted, and the sores typically heal within two to four weeks.
There may be a second crop of sores, and flu-like symptoms, including fever and swollen glands. But, most people with HSV-2 infection never have sores, or they have only mild signs they don’t even notice or mistake for insect bites or some other skin condition.
When people first contract genital herpes, they can expect to have several (4-5) outbreaks within a year.
Over time they decrease in frequency. It’s even possible that a person only becomes aware of the “first episode,” years after the infection is acquired.
Are there complications with genital herpes?
Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores in many adults, and herpes infection can be severe in people with a suppressed immune system.
The symptoms alone can cause psychological distress in people who know they are infected.
One of the biggest dangers of genital HSV, is the potentially fatal infections in babies. A newly acquired infection during late pregnancy poses a greater risk of transmission to the baby. A cesarean section is usually performed if a woman has active genital herpes at delivery. Fortunately, infection of a baby is rare.
Herpes may also play a role in the spread of HIV, (the virus that causes AIDS.)
Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection, and it can actually make HIV-infected individuals more infectious.
How is genital herpes diagnosed?
Health care providers can diagnose genital herpes by visual inspection if the outbreak is typical, and by taking a sample and testing it in a laboratory.
HSV infections can be diagnosed between outbreaks by the use of blood tests. Blood tests can be helpful, although the results are not always clear cut.
Traditional medicine says there’s no treatment that can cure herpes, and this is true because it is incorporated into your DNA, but antiviral medications can shorten and prevent outbreaks, during the period of time the person takes the medication.
Natural ingredients that work to minimize outbreaks:
Vitamin A (shown in studies to slow the growth)
Zinc (shown to be effective)
Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids (shown very effective in controlling outbreaks)
Vitamin C with Zinc (shown even more effective to inhibit herpes outbreaks)
Vitamin E (Used topically and internally)
Amino acid lysine (suppresses the amino acid arginine)
For the treatment of flare up blisters, simply dab blisters with Vitamin C on a cotton swab and water (sodium ascorbate form) 5-10 minutes, and then follow with Vitamin E cut in half.
Take Vitamin A in slowly increasing dosages to 30,000 IU and 100 mg of zinc 3 times a day for a week.
Take a lysine supplement.
How can I avoid getting herpes?
The surest way to avoid transmission of all sexually transmitted diseases, including genital herpes, is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long term mutually monogamous relationship with one partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
Author: Steve Berchtold