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Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Genital Herpes
Today’s article will be discussing One sexually transmitted infection in particular. It’s a pretty nasty one known as Genital Herpes. For those of you that don’t already know, genital herpes can be described as fluid-filled “bumps” that appear on male and female genitalia from time to time if they happen to be a carrier. This is a rather uncomfortable infection, and those bumps will eventually burst and ooze, turning into painful sores and sometimes ulcers until they have been given adequate time to heal.
Who is affected
I know that’s a pretty heavy starting point, but it’s important to know that this is NOT something you want to end up with. And if you are thinking to yourself “well it couldn’t happen to me” I would urge you to reconsider. Genital herpes affects roughly sixteen percent of the population, making it a very catchable infection indeed. Whether through oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse your risks are the same. On average that means if you and 4 of your buddies each “hook up” with someone at a club one of you will almost certainly be going home with genital herpes.
Obviously practicing safe sex is, as it always is, the most effective form of preventing the spread of genital herpes. But sadly there are instances where it is unavoidable. In cases of childbirth during labor, and even during nursing it is possible for the mother to spread genital herpes on to their newborn. As sad as this is it’s all the more reason to be practicing safe sex always until you find the person you want to settle down with. If thinking about potentially being the reason your child has a life long infection from birth is not a serious enough reason to be safe, I am not sure what is.
Is there a cure
That is another thing worth noting, if you do contract this infection, there is no cure and it will be with you for the rest of your life. While not always active, the symptoms of genital herpes will recur at periods throughout your life and cause you pain and discomfort. It can even be spread when you are at a period where the infection is lying dormant within you, so just because you don’t have any cuts or blisters, does not mean you cannot pass the infection on to someone you care about. Genital herpes also makes you a much more likely candidate to contract HIV during intercourse as the open sores make it easy for that virus to find it’s way into your system. Being HIV positive can cause your symptoms to become more severe and last even longer periods of time, as it can already take 2-3 weeks in general for the sores you experience to heal.
Symptoms may lie dormant within your body for years before occurring in a form you can see, so if for any reason you feel you may be a carrier it is important that you see your personal care provider as soon as possible to get tested if you happen to notice and bumps that may be the work of this infection. Be responsible as well, if you feel you may be a carrier you have an obligation to tell any potential or recent sexual partners of this fact so they can either get tested and treated or take proper precautions to avoid becoming a carrier.
While there is no cure for genital herpes, there are treatment options you should consider in order to ease the burden you now bear in your life. If you are currently experiencing your first outbreak symptoms can be treated by taking an antiviral tablet. If this is not your first outbreak, you will still be given antiviral tablets but there are also a number of things you can do to help ease your symptoms. Of course, this should be obvious but you will want to make sure you keep the affected area clean. Water and even saltwater can be used to hurry along with your recovery and keep the spreading to a minimum. And finally, you will want to speak with your doctor. I may have already said this but your doctor is the best person you can go to for advice. Be safe and as always, be healthy.