In addition to the pain and discomfort caused by genital herpes, those infected are three times more likely to become infected with HIV.
Genital herpes should not be underestimated. Ignorance of the sexually transmitted infection is an important source of dissemination. Nearly 500 million people worldwide are living with the virus, according to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO). Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2), making it the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. In addition, people infected with HSV-2 are three times more likely to develop HIV infection if exposed to the virus.
“The primary infection is observed mainly in adolescents or young adults after sexual contact”, emphasizes Doctor Milpied in an article in Parisian. Once the virus is installed in the body, it “falls asleep” there. “It then shows, during outbreaks, that small blisters develop into sores, located on the genitals or nearby”, clarifies Ameli.
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Transmission of the virus can also occur from the infected mother to the child during birth and lead to complications for the newborn. “Transmission to the child occurs in 85% of cases, during its passage through the mother’s genitals in case of viral shedding, at the time of birth”, adds Dr. Millipede. A caesarean section is then recommended to limit the risk to the baby.
Genital herpes cannot be cured
In some cases, genital herpes can go completely unnoticed when infected people do not develop symptoms. They are still likely to pass the virus to their partner during intercourse.
The diagnosis of genital herpes is based on a medical examination. Sometimes samples from the lesions are needed to confirm the presence of the virus. The doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to limit the duration and intensity of the flare-up. However, this type of treatment does not eliminate the virus completely, and there is always a risk of recurrence.
Herpes virus is a fragile virus that only lives an hour or two outside of its host. Contamination occurs through direct, intimate and prolonged contact. In case of symptoms, it is therefore better to refrain from having sexual relations. Except for outbreaks of genital herpes, condom use is recommended, as virus may be present on the mucous membranes, even between recurrences. “8 to 12% of free partners get infected every year,” recalls Ameli.
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