What is Herpes Simplex Virus 2
Genital herpes HSV-2 is a commonly misunderstood sexually transmitted disease with stigma surrounding it unlike the oral herpes caused by the herpes virus type 1 otherwise known as HSV-1. The genital herpes is contagious and can be transmitted during sexual contact with an infected individual. Symptoms of herpes after contraction are very mild that they might go unnoticed and some people might never really show the symptoms. Its mild nature is disadvantageous as one might easily transmit the infection to their partner without knowing.
The symptoms appear periodically in episodes or outbreaks. The pattern of outbreaks differs from individual to individual. It might take an individual months before the virus symptoms begin to show while others may begin to show symptoms days after the infection. When it first strikes, the infected will experience typical flu like symptoms such as fevers, headaches and back pains. The symptoms are however only present during the first outbreak. On peak intensity, the genital herpes HSV-2 episodes tend to produce small blisters which can break to form painful shallow sores that scab over and heal after a week or two. The first outbreak is more often than not intense than the follow up outbreaks.
Later outbreaks are triggered by sex, menstruation, fatigue, general illness or stress although the outbreaks might appear with no trigger at all. It is important to note that the subsequent outbreaks are caused by the dormant virus in the system and not reinfection. The disease has no cure but the symptoms can be treated and controlled with the virus remaining dormant in the body of the infected. Infection is very much possible to one’s partner as the virus is dormant and it can easily be transferred during sexual intercourse to the other partner. It is advised to practice safe sex with precautions during outbreaks as the open sores can cause infection.
A couple with a partner infected with herpes HSV-2 should practice safe sex and suppressant medication is advised to ensure the uninfected does not contract the infection and they remain safe. Use of condoms will ensure the infected genital area does not come in contact with the other person’s genital parts but this might be risky during an outbreak as the blisters might form all around the genital area of the infected. Meet Positives, an online dating website for infected people has members with similar herpes HSV-2 infections this will be easier as re infection is almost impossible, once possible partners begin dating it is important for them to get checked for them to understand what strand of the virus they are infected with.
Doctors test for the herpes HSV-2 virus by taking a sample of the fluid from the blisters and testing for possible infection. Pregnant women with genital herpes can pass the virus to their unborn baby during delivery causing serious illness. This is not common and doctors should be told about presence of the virus by the pregnant mothers. Herpes has no cure but a proper healthy lifestyle with supplement of medication or herbal products can treat the symptoms. Members of Meet Positives organize forums where infected people can meet and talk of the medication they used to treat their herpes HSV-2 symptoms.