Genital herpes is a disease caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two types of these viruses; HSV-1 and HSV-2. Each of these types has unique symptoms and signs that many miss out on them. While it is a deadly and largely feared disease because of its permanent nature, its effects are mild. Rarely will you succumb and feel sick because you have genital herpes. In fact, most Americans above the age of 12 are living with the herpes disease and do not know it. Stigmatization and mental torture is a critical element in health that attributes to extreme deterioration of health. Typically, people live normally and strongly before positive results of a diagnosis. Sometimes, it is all about the mind.
Types of HSV virus
The type of virus you contract determines the kind of symptoms and area of the body affected. The depth of infection and life after a positive diagnosis is also dependent on the type of virus hence the importance of understanding these two types of herpes virus.
Herpesvirus 1 is associated with oral herpes. This infection is wholly on the lips and mouth, which can easily be noticed. Typically, affected individuals get fever blisters and cold sores on different parts of the mouth. It is usually on the external; either top or bottom lip. Ordinarily, this virus does not lead to herpes genital symptoms. However, the situation changes with advancement in years and camouflage of genes in response to various drugs in the modern world. Today, there is a possibility that herpes simplex virus type 1 can lead to the disease. The matter is still up to debate among professionals basing on the various clinical tests. Nevertheless, the advancement in the strength of the virus to cause herpes genitalis is mostly attributed to sex in early years that is consistent with different sexual partners.
Herpesvirus 2 is known to be the primary cause of genital herpes. The virus is said to live in nerve cells for a significant period in an inactive state until they are mature. After maturity the virus moves to the surface of the specific area infected; usually, it is the mucous membrane or the skin. The virus then begins multiplying itself in a process called shedding. During the shedding process, people close the infected person are vulnerable to infection because the mature virus making copies on the surface, for instance, skin can easily shift surfaces. Form one body to another by simple rubbing. The three-step life cycle of the virus ends at the base of the spine. In this region, there are multiple nerve cells where the virus continues multiplying and maturing but lies dormant. It is characterized by sores around the genital parts.
Who gets the disease?
Recent statistics on genital health dictate that at least one-fifth of people above the age of 12 years are infected with HSV-2, yet 90% of this population is unaware of their condition. Other reliable sources on research indicate that 505 to 80% of adults in the United States have oral herpes. Cold sores, which are primary symptoms of oral herpes, are also common symptoms of mild body complications like Flu. Therefore, it is often assumed and discarded as a mild reaction or allergy to environmental stimuli.
More women are infected with genital herpes as compared to men. Experts explain that the structure of women’s genitals is prone to herpes virus infection than men’s. Also, people with many sex partners have a high likelihood of contracting the herpes disease. Although herpesvirus infection on the onset cannot be explained in details because research is ongoing on the source and growth of these viruses, sexual behavior is tied closely to who gets the disease and who remains safe.
How does it spread?
HSV-1 is passed from one person to another through kissing. It doesn’t have to be deep kissing or presence of wounds, saliva exchanged during kissing automatically passes the virus. Besides, herpes can be passed to the genitals from oral sex, where it becomes genital herpes.
HSV-2 is spread through both vaginal and anal sex. Typically, affected individuals have mild sores around their genitals. The virus can also be passed to the mouth to become herpes 2 oral.
The virus does not survive in the open air on a non-living surface. Therefore don’t worry about a toilet seat or bathtub.