Genital Herpes Information

Number of people in US with genital herpes: over 50,000,000
New cases per year: 1,000,000
New cases per hour: 114
New cases per minute: 1.9
Percent of US population affected: 20%
1 in 5 persons age 12 and older
Number of people unaware they are infected: Millions: Most of the population
Statistics provided by the CDC
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What is herpes?

What most refer to as herpes is actually family of socially transmitted diseases caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1 cold sores) and type 2 (HSV-2 genital herpes). Other types of the virus are commonly known as shingles and the Epstein-Barr virus. Most people who carry the virus have no or only minimal signs of an infection. Because of this, many people are unaware that they have the virus. Telling signs of an infection include one or more blisters on the face or genitals that break and leave small ulcers that may take 2 to 4 weeks to heal initially. The blisters recur periodically over time, typically about 5 times per year. The frequency of outbreaks usually reduces over time.

Is it dangerous?

For most healthy people it is harmless. Rare severe cases of HSV-1 on the head or face may lead to serious conditions. Extra precautions for pregnant women at the time of delivery are needed to prevent genital herpes transmission to the baby which can sometimes be fatal to infants.

How common is it?

The disease is very common. In the US about 20% of adults are have the infection. Because the symptoms can often be mild, most people do not know they have the disease or mistake it for other causes like insect bites. About 1 million new cases are reported every year. Millions more likely go unreported.

How does it spread?

Herpes viruses are spread through physical contact with the affected area of the skin, most usually during an outbreak when sores are present. Sometimes the virus can spread through physical contact with the infected area even when sores are present and there is no break in the skin. You must take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. For genital herpes, male condoms offer good protection, only if the infected area on the male is covered or contact with the infected area on the female is prevented. Female condoms may offer better protection as they cover a larger area. Protection is lost if a condom slips or breaks and contact is made with the infected.

It is possible to spread herpes to other parts of the body. Herpes infections can occur in many places: eyes, ears, mouth, rectum, back of the hands, and others. Always wash your hands immediately after touching an infected area.

What does it look like?

One or more blisters that eventually pop, become sores, then heal back up. Here some pictures of herpes infections in various skin areas. Find more images here.

Oral herpes - cold sore, fever blisterGenital Herpes - vaginalGenital Herpes - buttoxGenital Herpes - penile
Images courtesy of Dynamiclear.com
Can I still have a normal life?

Yes. Other than extra precautions in the bedroom, your life can continue normally. With the right diet and treatment plan, herpes will be a very minor inconvenience in your life. You may wish to date other people with HSV to avoid the awkwardness of that conversation when your relationship becomes sexual.

With 50 million others (and counting) out there, meeting other people who understand is easy! A good place to meet singles is at a HSV dating site like MPWH.net.

What if I am pregnant?

Most of the time normal vaginal delivery is possible. However, risk of transmission to the baby is highest if you contracted the disease during pregnancy. In most other circumstances, suppressive viral drugs are used to prevent outbreaks during birth and normal vaginal delivery is performed. In case of an outbreak during pregnancy, a cesarean delivery is performed to prevent transmission to the baby. Always inform your doctor if you have herpes so that he or she will be prepared at the time of delivery. More info at: http://www.herpesdiagnosis.com/pregnancy.html

Is there a cure?

There is no recognized cure by the medical establishment. There are some highly effective treatments like Dynamiclear. Most are only able to suppress the outbreaks but not cure the disease. However, in recent years one study of herbal treatments documents that it was able to cure 49% of the study participants. This is the only mention of a cure in a medical study. This may work for many people. More info at: http://www.secret-cures.com

What are my treatment options?

There are many ways to treat the disease including: diet, medication, topical ointments, herbs.

First and foremost the disease should be treated by diet. It is possible to significantly reduce outbreaks by eating healthy, avoiding certain foods and taking vitamin supplements to support a healthy immune system.

Diet:

  • Avoid alcohol, processed foods, colas, white flour products, surgar refined carbohydrates, coffee, and drugs use.

The following vitamin supplements are recommended by the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing:

Vitamin A50,000 IU daily
Vitamin B50mg or more 3 times daily
Vitamin C5,000 10,000mg
Zinc chelate50-100mg daily in divided doses
Vitamin E600 IU daily
Calcium1500 mg daily
Magnesium750 mg daily

Get the best prices on vitamins at: http://www.swansonvitamins.com

Medication:
Consult your doctor about the appropriate course of medication for your circumstances. Your doctor will usually prescribe a treatment that follows the CDC recommedations. Their recommended course of treatment depends on whether or not this is the first episode, or a recurring episode. The CDC basic guidelines are as follows:

First episode: Many patients with first-episode herpes present with mild clinical manifestations but later develop severe or prolonged symptoms. Therefore, most patients with initial genital herpes should receive antiviral therapy.

One of the following courses is chosen.

  • Acyclovir [Zovirax] 400 mg orally three times a day for 7--10 days
  • OR Acyclovir [Zovirax] 200 mg orally five times a day for 7--10 days
  • OR Famciclovir [Famvir] 250 mg orally three times a day for 7--10 days
  • OR Valacyclovir [Valtrex] 1 g orally twice a day for 7--10 days

Recurring episode: Effective episodic treatment of recurrent herpes requires initiation of therapy within 1 day of lesion onset, or during the prodrome that precedes some outbreaks. The patient should be provided with a supply of drug or a prescription for the medication with instructions to self-initiate treatment immediately when symptoms begin.

One of the following courses is chosen.

  • Acyclovir [Zovirax] 400 mg orally three times a day for 5 days
  • OR Acyclovir [Zovirax] 200 mg orally five times a day for 5 days
  • OR Famciclovir [Famvir] 125 mg orally twice a day for 5 days
  • OR Valacyclovir [Valtrex] 500 mg orally twice a day for 3--5 days
  • OR Valacyclovir [Valtrex] 1.0 g orally once a day for 5 days

Medication treatment information and dosage suggestions are from the Center for Disease Control treatment recommendations. More info at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2-2002TG.htm#GenitalHerpes

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Herbs:

Herbs shown to be effective include mint family herbs such as: lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Herbal teas that include these have shown to be beneficial. Application of lemon balm to sores is reported to be effective at shortening the outbreaks. A popular and effective product containing the essential oil of lemon balm is HBalm. It has positive results for many people.

Another genital herpes fighting product based on essential oils is H-Away from Amoils.com.

One promising study of herbal treatments documents that it was able to cure 49% of the study participants. This is the only mention of a cure in a medical study. This may work for many people with herpes. More info at: http://www.secret-cures.com

Dynamiclear:

Treatment with Dynamiclear has shown amazing results. Most people report that once treated, sores never return. The ingredients are kept a closely guarded secret, but the numerous testimonials prove it is without a doubt one of the most effective products available today. Get it at: http://www.dynamiclear.com

The FDA has not reviewed or approved these statements. This information is provided for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor regarding all health matters.

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