Herpes Simplex | Do you have HSV1 or HSV2?
What is Herpes?
Herpes is a common contagious viral infection. It causes oral herpes - cold sores or fever blisters,
and genital herpes - genital sores or sores usually below the waist. Herpes simplex is easily transmitted by direct contact with a lesion or the body fluid of an infected person. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections have afflicted mankind throughout most of recorded history. The earliest references date back to the 5th century B.C. Genital HSV infections were first described in detail in the 18th century. Herpes has not always been treated as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because it was not considered serious enough. With the development of acyclovir in the 1970's, the drug company, Burroughs Wellcome, created an awareness campaign for the virus. Both oral and genital HSV infections continue to plague humans throughout the world.
The herpes simplex virus requires a moist environment for survival. There is no known animal carrier; human-to-human spread is the only known mode of transmission.
There are two herpes simplex viruses:
- Herpes Simplex Type 1 (HSV1)
- Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV2)
Oral herpes and Genital herpes can be suppressed by VIR-L-Lysine
These viruses look identical under the microscope, and either type can infect the mouth or genitals. In the 1960's, the distinction was made that HSV-1 occurs above the waist, and HSV-2 below, but genital HSV-1 infections are increasing.
Herpes Simplex Type 1 (HSV-1) is the virus usually responsible for oral herpes or cold sores. If you receive unprotected oral sex from someone who has (HSV-1) cold sores, you can get genital herpes, or HSV-1 on your genitals.
Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV-2) or genital herpes is usually below the waist, but if you perform oral sex on someone who has HSV-2 genital sores, you can get HSV-2 on your face and mouth area.
HSV can also infect other parts of the body. Some other areas could be the eyes and the brain. Herpes Encephalitis is herpes in the brain. Very rare, and only affecting 2 per million, encephalitis is very dangerous and can cause a sore throat, headache, fever, vomitng, coma, and even death if left untreated.
Immune Response against Herpes
The body's natural defense system is called the "Immune Responses". Whenever herpes attacks the immune system, the body fights back against this menace. As the battle grows more intense, there are heavy losses by both the herpes virus and the immune system
. This causes the body to be less able to defend itself from attacks by other viruses. For those very reasons, a herpes patient should try to keep the herpes virus under control at all times.
Herpes Helpful Facts
- You are not alone. Herpes is estimated to affect some 80 million people in America. At least one in five adults in the United States has genital herpes.
- At least one in four teenage American girls between 14 - 19 years of age has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a CDC study that startled some adolescent-health experts. 2% have herpes.
- In the study mentioned above, only about half of the teenage girls admitted to having sex. Some teens defined sex as intercourse only, not including other types of intimate behavior such as oral sex, which can also spread diseases, herpes included. An alarming 40% of those who admitted to having sex, had an STD!
- Get more information. The better informed you are about herpes, the easier it will be to manage.
- Give yourself the best possible chance to limit recurrences by maintaining general good health , adding lysine to your diet, and keeping stress to a minimum.
- Take care of the affected skin area. Keep the area dry and clean during outbreaks to help healing.
- Avoid physical contact with the area from the time of the first symptoms (tingling, itching, burning) until all sores are completely healed, not just scabbed-over. Also be aware of possible shedding or "asymptomatic transmission", even after the sores have healed.
- Use Condoms! When properly used, latex condoms help reduce your risk of spreading or getting herpes.
- Prevent self-infection to other areas of your body. Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch a sore. Better yet, don't touch the sores.
- People Talk About....Herpes is a great reference book wth real live stories and answers to many questions.
- Prospective parents: If either mother or father has genital herpes, or any of the mother's or father's previous sexual partners had genital herpes, tell your doctor about it.
- It is possible to get genital herpes from cold sores.
- Women with genital herpes: Don't skip your annual Pap smear.
- Inform yourself about herpes. For many, diagnosis with herpes can mean a time of confusion, anger, fear and frustration. For many, it seems there is no place to turn for help in dealing with the sensitive aspects of herpes infection. There is help available.
- Increase your intake of L-Lysine and decrease the amount of arginine in your diet.
- Herpes is spread by direct contact.
- Herpes may play a role in the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection, and it can make HIV-infected individuals more infectious.
- Other disorders such as herpetic whitlow, herpes gladiatorum, ocular herpes (keratitis), cerebral herpes infection encephalitis, Mollaret's meningitis, neonatal herpes, and possibly Bell's palsy are all caused by herpes simplex viruses.