Genital Herpes: Help, Support and Overcome
Genital Herpes Overview
Being one of the most common and contagious infections, genital herpes is a disease that spreads through sex. The causative agent for this infection is the herpes simplex virus-2, also commonly known as the HSV-2, although HSV-1 is more common in quite a few cases. The most affected area is the genitals, anal opening and buttocks. The infection causes mild blisters or small ulcers in and around the area of genitals, which is common in both men and women. Nearly one out of every six individuals in the United States is believed to harbor this infection and nearly 80%–90% of them fail to recognize the presence of this disease. The rates of infection rank high among the socially and economically disadvantaged classes, and especially those who are addicted to cocaine and multiple sexual partners. The carriers most often do not realize the presence of this disease and transmit them without exhibiting active infection. Although the disease is transmitted by sexual intercourse, other types of skin-to-skin contacts also spread this disease. Also, the transmittal from a male to a female partner is common and the reverse occurs only in 10% of the infections transmitted.
Help and Support for Genital Herpes
If an individual is diagnosed with genital herpes without previous establishment of the disease, it is apparent that medical help should be immediately sought. Although not an emergency, treatment for this disease becomes more effective in the first few days of diagnosis. People with other underlying medical conditions, who are at high risk, especially AIDS, have chances to worsen the illness if left untreated. Such individuals should take prompt measures and contact the doctor immediately once they notice an upcoming genital sore. Also, pregnant women with genital herpes should consult a doctor as early as possible. Effective medical therapy eliminates the risk of transmission to the new born infant by decreasing their exposure in the birth canal.
For a few, illnesses can endure for a long period of time and thus lead to high fever, headache, extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. Such individuals should go to the hospital for evaluation and people with severe medical illnesses should approach medical care right away as the disease may progress to the brain, lungs and other organs. It is also important that patients consume a healthy diet with vitamin and mineral supplements. Always bear in mind that the viral infection takes time to heal and there are no immediate results.
Overcome Genital Herpes
There are several methods to diagnose the disease. The conventional mode of diagnosis involves the culture of the virus by means of a swab and a culture cup. Although one of the oldest methods, it is mostly effective and leads to false negative results in a few instances. The herpes virus antigen test and the polymerase chain reaction, based on the detection of the herpes surface antigen and the DNA, are effective tests that help in the rapid diagnosis.
Preventive and self help measures are the most effective when it comes to the treatment of the disease. It is important that individuals affected with genital herpes avoid the presence of excessive sunlight as it could lead to more irritation and make the person uncomfortable. Avoiding soaps, detergents, deodorants or douches also help to avoid irritation and thus keep the individual more comfortable. Aspirin, acetaminophen, and cool clothing on the affected parts also help to lighten the pain.