Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are widespread and can affect anyone. A lot of STDs or sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) are believed to be transmitted through sexual activity though it is possible to contract herpes without any sexual intercourse.
Herpes is one such disease that is common today that spreads through sexual activity or skin-to-skin contact. Like any other STD, the only way you can know about your status is to get tested. You can visit the lab or do it at home. Different std test kit reviews can give you helpful information about how to choose the best at home STD test.
However, many people continue to wonder about how common herpes is. Recently, the media in Florida carried headlines about wild monkeys suffering from herpes. Yes, there are monkeys in Florida, and they can also get infected with herpes.
The herpesviridae family is very big, and it consists of about 100 members that can infect birds, mammals, reptiles, oysters, bony fish, and amphibians. Herpes viruses also infected dinosaurs which makes it common among different species.
The herpes virus evolved since before the evolution of humanity which makes it the oldest STI. We can live with herpes in our bodies and may not know that since it can hide from the body’s immune system. Herpes can spread through skin contact or sexual activity. Above all, one can be born with herpes.
There are different types of herpes, but they can affect both humans and animals. For instance, Herpes B is a common herpesvirus among the “Tarzan” monkeys. This type of infection is rare among humans, but it can also be deadly. You should try to avoid things like monkey bites or scratches.
There are eight types of herpesviruses in human beings. Herpes simplex virus (HSV 1 & 2) can cause genital herpes. HSV1 condition is one of the most common STD. HSV-1 mainly causes sores, but it can also affect the genitals. On the other hand, HSV-2 can infect the facial area thereby causing cold sores.
Good News About Herpes
Herpes is on the decline owing to lifestyle changes among different people. HSV-1 is the most common and often transmitted during childhood through a non-sexual transmission. In other words, the virus passes from the mother to the parent, and this is the reason why testing is encouraged.
All pregnant mothers are expected to go for screening to avoid transmitting the infection to the unborn baby. HSV-1 currently infects about 48% of Americans between 14 and 49 years compared to 59% in 2000. HIV statistics show a significant decline in the number of HIV transmissions.
The other issue is that HSV-2 only affects people who are sexually active. Only 12 % of sexually active Americans between 14 and 19 years are affected by HSV-2 against 19% in 2000. HSV-2 also affects about 16% of women and 8% of men. It is easier for men to transmit herpes during vaginal sex than it is for women to do the same.
Genital herpes is also transmitted oral, anal and skin-to-skin contact such as rubbing genitals together. Total abstinence from any sexual activity does not guarantee you complete protection against HSV. However, you can take specific measures to prevent the transmission of the virus to your partner.
In some instances, one partner can have HSV while the other does not have. Genital herpes spreads when there are symptoms so condoms can help to reduce viral transmission. Antiviral medications for herpes, patient education as well as practicing abstinence when there are symptoms that help to reduce transmission.
The truth about herpes is that it has no outright cure though specific remedies can control it. Herpes is very common, and there are also discordant couples where one has the infection while the other does not. HSV vaccine would come as great relief to Americans, and it would cut costs.
Americans spend about $1 billion every year while trying to manage genital herpes infections. Genital herpes infections can pose severe risks during pregnancy where the virus can infect the unborn baby. It also increases the chances of HIV transmission. Vaccines could also bring indirect benefits to different people.
At the moment, no vaccine can prevent infections in the recipients. There are different reasons why there is no vaccine for herpes yet. The virus is complicated compared to other types of viruses.
Herpes secretly enters the body, and it can lie dormant for an extended period after hiding from the immune system. Other conditions like measles can cause immediate sickness after infection, and they are quickly noticeable, unlike herpes. The immune system rapidly responds to measles, but it can fail to notice HSV.
The scientists are not sure about how they can develop a vaccine that can train the immune system to notice the HSV. Funding is required to conduct research that can help to unearth the secrets of HSV. Pharmaceutical companies are not yet ready to undertake such investment given the complexity of the herpes virus. A publicly funded scientific research can draw researchers from different fields.
Steps To Take If You Have Herpes
Currently, there is no cure for herpes, but that does not mean the end of life. If you know that you have the disease, there are different steps that you can take to live well with the infection. There are different types of herpes, so you need to go for testing to determine the virus you have.
Testing for herpes involves a test of fluids drawn from suspected herpes sores. A person with herpes usually has painful sores that produce fluids. In case of the absence of symptoms, a blood test can help to determine your status.
When the test shows that you have herpes, you can visit a planned parenthood health center. You can learn about aspects such as the significance of a healthful lifestyle to prevent spreading the infection. You also get antiviral medications that can help to suppress the virus so that you can live a healthy life.