miércoles, 29 de junio de 2011

Genital Herpes and HIV Treatment Issues


Having genital herpes can increase the risk of being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and it can cause serious problems for people living with HIV.

People who have genital herpes sores are more likely to be infected with HIV during intercourse. When you develop a sore, your immune system tries to heal it, so there are many immune cells concentrated in that spot. Those are the cells that HIV infects. If HIV in semen, vaginal fluid, or blood comes in contact with a herpes sore, the risk for infection is high.

The Compound Effect of Genital Herpes and HIV


HIV and the genital herpes virus are a troublesome duo. One can worsen the effects of the other. Research shows that when the herpes virus is active, it may cause HIV to make more copies of itself (the process called replication) than it would otherwise. The more HIV replicates, the more of the body's infection-fighting cells it destroys, eventually leading to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

People infected with both HIV and the herpes virus may have longer-lasting, more frequent, and more severe outbreaks of herpes symptoms, because a weakened immune system can't keep the herpes virus under control as well as a healthy immune system can.

It's more difficult to treat genital herpes if you also have HIV. Higher doses of antiviral drugs are often needed to treat herpes in people with HIV. Also, many people with HIV have strains of the herpes virus that are resistant to treatment with the standard antiviral drugs.

If you take antiviral drugs for genital herpes and the treatment isn't working, your doctor can test the virus you have for resistance. If the virus is resistant, there are other possible treatment alternatives, including the drugs Foscarnet and Vistide. These drugs can be given through an IV, or a Vistide gel can be applied to the herpes sores.

If you have HIV, ask your doctor if you should be tested for genital herpes. If you already know that you have herpes and HIV, discuss treatment options with your doctor.

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How Common Is Genital Herpes?

At least 45 million American adults and adolescents have genital herpes -- that's one out of every four to five people, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Since the late 1970s, the number of Americans with genital herpes infection has increased 30%, mostly in teens and young adults.
Genital herpes is more common in women than in men.

How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes?

Most people infected with genital herpes have very minimal or no signs or symptoms of their disease. The first attack of herpes usually follows this course:
  • Skin on or near the sex organ becomes inflamed. Skin may burn, itch, or be painful.
  • Blister-like sores appear on or near the sex organs.
  • Sores open, scab over, and then heal.
Symptoms that may also be present when the virus first appears include:
  • Swollen glands
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Burning when passing urine
  • Muscle aches
The first outbreak of herpes can last for several weeks. After the outbreak, the virus retreats to the nervous system, where it remains inactive until something triggers it to become active again.
Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or months after the first, but it almost always is less severe and shorter than the first episode. Although the infection can stay in the body iEnlacendefinitely, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease over a period of years.

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viernes, 29 de abril de 2011

Herpes Owerwiew

The virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact

The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact and can be transmitted during vaginal, oral or anal sex. The infection can occur anywhere on the genitals, in areas around the groin or pubic area, and in or around the anus. Cold sores on the mouth can cause genital infection during oral sex for those who do not already have the cold sore virus.

The virus can be spread when there is an episode (when there is a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split) or between episodes (when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present). This is called viral shedding. During viral shedding, you may not be aware that the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.

Recurrent episodes

Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode. Over time, recurrent episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.

Recurrences may be triggered by:
  • Stress
  • Menstruation
  • Sexual activity
  • General illness.

Summary

Genital herpes is a common sexually transmissible infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV1 or HSV2). The herpes virus can be spread during vaginal, oral or anal sex. Cold sores on the mouth can cause genital infection during oral sex for those who do not already have the cold sore virus. Pregnant women with genital herpes should discuss this with their doctor.

Genital herpes is a common sexually transmissible infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two forms of the herpes simplex virus – HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 more commonly occurs around the mouth but can also occur on the genitals. HSV2 occurs mainly on and around the genital area.

It is estimated that about one in eight people have the virus that causes genital herpes and about 80 per cent of those infected may be unaware they have this infection. There is no cure for genital herpes but medication can help manage and reduce the severity of symptoms and also reduce the frequency of recurrences.

Many people feel great anxiety about herpes but it is important to remember it only affects the skin for relatively short periods of time.

Pregnant women with genital herpes should discuss this with their doctor, as very rarely herpes infection can be transmitted to the baby during delivery, leading to serious illness.

The virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact

The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact and can be transmitted during vaginal, oral or anal sex. The infection can occur anywhere on the genitals, in areas around the groin or pubic area, and in or around the anus. Cold sores on the mouth can cause genital infection during oral sex for those who do not already have the cold sore virus.

The virus can be spread when there is an episode (when there is a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split) or between episodes (when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present). This is called viral shedding. During viral shedding, you may not be aware that the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.

Symptoms
Many people who have genital herpes are not aware they have the infection because they may not have any symptoms.

The first episode of herpes can cause considerable pain and distress. Symptoms associated with the first episode of genital herpes may include:
  • Flu-like symptoms – such as feeling unwell, headaches and pains in the back and legs
  • Small blisters around the genitals – these break open to form shallow, painful ulcers, which scab over and heal after one to two weeks
  • Small cracks in the skin
  • Redness or a distinct rash.
  • Some people also have considerable pain and swelling in the genital area and may have additional pain and difficulty passing urine.
Recurrent episodes

Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode. Over time, recurrent episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.

Recurrences may be triggered by:
  • Stress
  • Menstruation
  • Sexual activity
  • General illness.
Diagnosing herpes infection

If you think you have herpes, your doctor will need to take a swab from the affected area to confirm the diagnosis. In certain circunstances, a blood test is performed to assist with the diagnosis. You should discuss this with your doctor.

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martes, 29 de julio de 2008

What is herpes?

Herpes is the name of a group of viruses that cause painful blisters and sores. One kind of herpes, herpes simplex, causes both cold sores around the mouth and genital herpes (herpes around the sexual organs). Herpes zoster, another kind of herpes, causes chickenpox and shingles.


How is genital herpes spread?

Genital herpes is spread easily. The virus from contact with an infected person can enter your body through a break in your skin or through the skin of your mouth, penis or vagina, urinary tract opening, cervix or anus. Herpes is most easily spread when blisters or sores can be seen on the infected person. But it can be spread at any time, even when there aren't any symptoms.

Genital herpes is usually spread from one person to another by having sex, including oral sex. Herpes can also be spread from one place on your body to another, such as from your genitals to your fingers, then to your eyes or to other parts of your body. Herpes can also be spread from a mother to her baby when she gives birth.

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lunes, 28 de julio de 2008

What are the Herpes Causes.


Genital herpes can be caused by either the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 or HSV-2 can cause sores on the lips (cold sores) and sores on the genitals. HSV-1 more often causes cold sores, while HSV-2 more often causes genital sores. HSV-1 causes up to 50% of primary genital herpes infections. Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 has a lower rate of recurrence than that caused by HSV-2.

How the herpes virus is spread

Since the same virus that causes genital herpes also can cause cold sores (herpes labialis), HSV can be spread from a genital sore to the lips or from a cold sore to the genital area. HSV can be spread to or from the genitals, anus, or mouth during sexual activities or through any direct contact with herpes sores. You become infected when the virus enters your body through a break in the skin or through moist areas (mucous membranes) such as the mouth, anus, and vagina. Even very small breaks in the skin allow the virus to infect the body.
Newborns can be infected with HSV at birth. This usually happens when a woman has her primary outbreak (the first time she is infected with HSV) close to the time of delivery and the baby is delivered through the vagina. Usually, in these cases the woman either does not have symptoms or is unaware of symptoms. The chance of passing the virus to the baby is greatly reduced (less than 1% of the time) during recurrent outbreaks, which occur after women have been infected previously. Babies infected with the virus at birth are at risk for serious health problems.

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How Treat the herpes?

Vaccines
Herpes vaccines are currently being investigated and it is felt that an effective vaccine may be available in 3-5 years. Vaccines will only function to prevent the infection in new patients. Those who already have the simplex virus disease will probably not gain any benefit. Some vaccines have been tried to prevent the HSV occurrence, but so far had no noticible effects. These include the smallpox, Polio and Lupidon C vaccine.
What's new in the treatment of Herpes?

¿What is Valtrex?

Valtrex is an antiviral drug. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Valtrex lessens the symptoms of these infections and shortens the length of time you are sick. Valtrex is used in the treatment and suppression of genital herpes, shingles, and cold sores. Valtrex is not a cure for herpes virus infections. Valtrex may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

¿What is the most important information I should know about Valtrex?

Take all of the Valtrex that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated. Treatment with Valtrex should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (e.g. tingling, burning, blisters). Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even during treatment. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission. Valtrex is not a cure for herpes virus infections.
 

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