Frequently Asked Questions About Herpes

According to the statistics from CDC in 2015, approximately fifty million Americans have genital herpes. Though a significant number of people are living with herpes caused by HSV, many of them don’t know that they have it. So it’s important for people to know about this disease. When you find out that you have herpes, you may have many questions about it. We have collected the most common questions about herpes and provide you with the answers.

Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about herpes.

If you are unable to find out the questions about herpes here, you can get help from Ask the Experts which is powered by American Sexual Health Association and the STD counselor from the largest herpes dating and support site PositiveSingles.

What happens when herpes enters the body?

There’s a certain thing that makes viruses different in the family of the herpes virus from any other type of viruses, and this is what is known as latency. Basically, herpes simplex and any other herpes viruses have their way of developing a small, but a colony of viral particles that are inside of the body permanently. This colony is usually totally inactive (or fully “asleep”) and it stays in the body forever.

It works like this: when the HSV has a foothold, the infection starts creating duplicates of itself and spreading. This can result in some signs and symptoms that are from inconspicuous symptoms that go unrecognized to extreme illness. Accordingly, the immune system prepares its strength for a strike and later restricts the spread of HSV.

Even if there exist severe symptoms or not, the infection will remain in the body. To stay clear from the immune system, the HSV will withdraw along the pathways of the nerve, covering up in a nerve root known as “ganglion.” In instances of genital herpes, HSV withdraws to the sacral ganglion, situated at the bottom of the spine. In facial or oral herpes, also known as cold sores, HSV discovers its way to the trigeminal ganglion, at the top position of the spine. In the ganglion, the infection stays dormant and latent (inactive) for an uncertain timeframe.

The phenomenon of latency is the same as a sleep cycle. Primarily, the virus comes back to a place of safe haven and then takes a long period of time to sleep. Sadly, while HSV remains latent, different biological occasions can make it get to be distinctly dynamic and then start venturing to every part of the nerve pathways back to the skin. There, it can bring about signs and symptoms once more; however, it doesn’t often do this.

The frequency of the virus “awakening” is a complex question. Factually, it is a general belief that all of the “awakening times” of the HSVs were set apart by outbreaks – an inconsistency in the skin (characterized as a “lesion”) for example, pimples or other symptoms such as an itch. At that point, researchers discovered that the infection could wake and get to be distinctly active without creating observable signs or symptoms: no pain, no itch, no blisters, and no pimples. This particular phenomenon has been regarded as various things, including “subclinical shedding,” “asymptomatic shedding,” and “asymptomatic reactivation.”

Asymptomatic shedding is applicable to the following circumstances:

1. A few lesions are neglected because they happen in areas we basically never look or can’t really see.

2. Some are confused for something else – for instance, an ingrown hair.

3. The naked eyes can’t see some of them at all.

The fact of this matter is that when herpes “awakens,” and moves to the surface of the mucous films or skin, it is regularly unobtrusive and difficult to spot. Likewise, regardless of the possibility that you are an individual with repeating signs and symptoms that you can typically perceive as herpes, there are possibly days
when you won’t know that the infection has reactivated and moved own to the mucous membranes or the skin.


Do I have to use condoms forever?

If you need to avoid the transmission of herpes simplex to your partners, it is recommended that you use condoms at all time. The virus could be shed by many patients asymptomatically. Full studies have demonstrated that asymptomatic shedding happens between 1 to 3 percent of the time in patients who have previously experienced HSV II genital infections. Most of the new herpes infections tend to happen from partners who are shedding the infection asymptomatically. On this account, it is profoundly recommended that patients are protected before sexual intercourse.

Moreover, condoms may not be the best alternative for monogamous couples or for even couples who long to end up being pregnant. Couples may decide to have serological tests that will ascertain if or not both partners have asymptomatic infection. In intimate monogamous relationships, it is possible to weigh the risks of transmission against many other relationship problems like closeness. Couples may choose that the danger of transmission might be something that they need to put into consideration.

Also, condoms are really effective for the prevention of most STDs; however, the risk of herpes can be reduced by the use of condoms. Compared to many other STDs, the spread of herpes is by skin-to-skin contact rather than through natural body fluids. This is so since condoms tend not to cover all the conceivable infectious skin, they cannot completely stop the spread of herpes.

Still, condoms have to be an undeniable and unquestionable part of your arsenal in the protection of yourself from any herpes genital virus.

Although the measure of protection from just making use of a condom will not be exactly so for an ailment like HIV, that can be totally avoided by blocking secretions, that doesn’t imply the reduction in the risk of transmitting herpes is immaterial. A meta-analysis of about six pre-existing studies conducted in 2009 found out that users who consistently made use of condoms were experienced the reduction in their risk of being infected with herpes to about 30 percent, from their partners. In any case, using condoms has to be steady to get as much reduction as this. Put differently, if you need to viably make use of condoms for the protection of your partner, or even yourself, from herpes virus, you have to use condoms at any time you have sexual intercourse and you must use them accurately.