What Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes refers to a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2. Normally, genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). However, there are increasing cases of HSV-1 causing genital herpes as a result of oral sex. When genital herpes symptoms appear, they include lesions or sores on the genitals, upper thigh, and anus. There are no conclusive reports that show how many people are living with genital herpes. This is based on the fact that the blood tests used to screen for the herpes virus will not show where the virus is in the body.
According to the CDC, there are 776,000 new HSV-2 infections every year in the United States. However, statistics don’t show how many of these cases are oral or genital herpes. When genital herpes symptoms appear, they do so after 2 to 12 days of initial exposure. The symptoms appear as blisters on the genitals or the rectum area.
Genital Herpes Transmission
You can contract genital herpes from bodily fluids which include blister or sore fluids, herpes lesions fluid, saliva, vaginal fluid, and semen. This means that genital herpes can be transmitted through unprotected oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex. The problem is that condoms will not protect you from herpes since they will not cover all the parts that might be affected by the virus.
Genital Herpes Symptoms
When symptoms of genital herpes appear, they include itching and a burning sensation around the upper thigh, genital area, and anus. You will also have blisters, painful ulcers, lesions and sores around these areas. About 2/3 of the people with genital herpes will have no or mild symptoms such that they will not know they are infected or will confuse the infection with other conditions. Genital herpes transmission still happens even in cases where there are no visible symptoms. It is, therefore, important that you and your partner get tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 to know your status.
How Is A Genital Herpes Test Done?
KnowMyStatus.life offers tests for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. These are blood tests that screen for herpes simplex virus antibodies in the body. The antibodies can be detected at 3 weeks of infection but is recommended at 4 to 6 weeks. You should get tested again after 3 months to make sure there is no recurrent infection. The HSV-1 test is done using a Chemiluminescence immunoassay test or CLIA. This is a highly sensitive test that only detects the HSV-1 antibodies. Because there is a chance that genital herpes can be caused by HSV-1, it is important to order for the HSV-1 and HSV-2 tests.
The process is as simple as finding a testing center near you. Order the herpes test and visit a center near you for the sample. It will take a few minutes and you will have the results in 1-2 business days.
Understanding Herpes Tests
The herpes antibodies take between 2 to 6 months to develop after exposure. During this time, the antibodies can be detected by CLIA test though the period will vary with each person. HSV-2 has a development period of between 3 weeks and 6 months. During this period, there will be enough antibodies to be detected by the test.
Is There A Genital Herpes Cure?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for genital herpes whether it is caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2. However, there are antiviral medications that can be used to suppress the symptoms and reduce or eliminate outbreaks.
What Happens If Genital Herpes Is Not Treated?
There are herpes viruses that can cause encephalitis or meningitis. Herpes simplex virus encephalitis results from HSV-1 in most cases and meningitis is mainly caused by HSV-2. There have been Recurrent Lymphocytic Meningitis cases which are associated with sudden meningitis attacks that last for between 2 and 7 days with episodes of latency that last for years, months, or weeks.
What If Am Pregnant And I Have Genital Herpes?
Having genital herpes when you are pregnant can be dangerous especially during child birth. If a mother has herpes, the virus can be passed to the child during child birth and can affect the mouth, eyes, skin and the central nervous system. The virus is also known to spread to other internal organs and can cause organ failure and even death. This is why every woman planning to get pregnant should get tested for various STDs.
Know your status. Get an accurate genital herpes test today.