Last year the public was bombarded with the news that a barrage of lawsuits accusing the superstar Usher of deliberately spreading herpes to different women and even a man.
Before continue reading the news, it might be interesting to note that herpes is actually a quite common disease. It is estimated that about 40 to 60 million people in the United States alone are infected with HSV-2 herpes with about 1 to 2 million new infections each year which results in about 600 to 800 clinical cases yearly. HSV-2 is said to have a prevalence rate varying from 2 to 74% in developing countries with a correlation to the prevalence of HIV. Now these are just statistics for the less common HSV-2. Imagine how the prevalence of the more common HSV-1 would be. Now let’s answer the questions.
What is herpes?
Herpes is derived from a Greek word which originally means to creep or crawl. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is usually known for the painful ulcers or blisters it causes around the genitals, anal region or oral region. It is caused by a virus known as the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of the virus. They are HSV-1 and HSV-2. The HSV-1 virus is more common and is commonly known for the ulcers it causes around the mouth (cold sores). Though it can be transmitted to the genitals through oral sex. The HSV-2 virus is more associated with the genitals though; HSV-1 can also infect the genitals.
What are the symptoms?
It is speculated that Usher was earlier diagnosed with the disease sometime around 2009 and 2010. Its speculated that Usher has paid out of court settlements of almost a million dollars on different occasions due to this same issue.
In about 80% of the cases, herpes is usually asymptomatic (meaning the infected person shows no symptoms at all). This is also called subclinical infections. However, if at all there are symptoms, it is usually uncomfortable. Symptoms during the first episode may include multiple lesions in the private parts (may be around the prepuce of the penis in men or the vulva, vagina or cervix in women) lesions can also be around the anal region or the lips. These could rupture and leave painful and uncomfortable ulcers. There could also be fever or myalgia present. These usually heal within 2 weeks. In some other cases, there may be what they call recurrence. Many people may have these herpes symptoms coming and disappearing about 5 times a year for the first 2 years and then the frequency may reduce in the following year. In cases of genital herpes, herpes caused by HSV-2 is less recurring.
I have herpes! Is it curable?
Looking at the news from a UK-based newspaper “The sun” on September 2017, we see a report of a jazz singer Laura Helm suing the singer Usher Raymond for almost $20 million for “knowingly” transmitting herpes to her.
Sorry guys, as with any other respectable virus, herpes is not curable. At least not by any known current medical interventions (maybe in the future). However, it is treatable. There is a range of drugs and creams available to supress the virus and reduce recurrence. Drugs and creams containing the compounds acyclovir, valaciclovir and famciclovir can be used to treat episodes of the virus and also to suppress the virus. Different dosing regimens are used for different situations so its best to consult your doctor or pharmacist for the optimum results. Some other products such as zinc oxide and lidocaine cream may be used to reduce discomfort. Epsom Salt baths, ice packs, and Iodine containing antiseptics like Betadine may be very helpful in reducing discomforts and drying out blisters. Please, do not use any product without consulting your physician or pharmacist.
How is it transmitted and how can I prevent it?
There have also been a string of lawsuits against the singer Usher by different women including one named Quantasia Sharpton on the same issue of transmitting herpes to them earlier last year.
It’s transmitted mostly through contact with moist blisters. The moist blisters are so infectious that constant washing off, using of condoms and other similar things are not likely to stop transmission. Straight to the point, do not have sex if you are having sores or displaying any of the symptoms of herpes or you are most likely going to spread the virus no matter what. The virus can still be spread even though you are not displaying any symptom. This is because your skin can shed the virus. You can use condoms or oral dams during sex and you can also take suppressive doses of antiviral medications like acyclovir as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist.
Herpes can also be transmitted during birth and can cause birth complications especially for the baby. If you have herpes and you are pregnant, it is a good idea to tell your doctor or midwife about it so they can do adequate planning for it.
A good way to prevent transmission and possible litigation is dating someone with herpes. That way you cannot transmit the disease to each other since you both have it. And you don’t have to worry about using preventive measures during sex. Although, having sex while having a cold sore blister may not be much fun due to the pain and discomfort so its not advisable. However, you would not be infecting another person with the virus by doing such since both partners have herpes. And you would not have any fears about you transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to anyone except you have another venereal disease apart from herpes. There is a word of caution though, as earlier stated if you get pregnant please let your doctor know about any STD you have so as to prevent birth complications.
Ayoade, F. O. (2018). Herpes Simplex. Retrieved from medscape: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/218580-overview
SA health. (2012). Genital herpes - including symptoms, treatment and prevention. Retrieved from http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/: http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+conditions+prevention+and+treatment/infectious+diseases/genital+herpes/genital+herpes+-+including+symptoms+treatment+and+prevention
Wim Opstelten, M. P. (2008). Treatment and prevention of herpes labialis. Canadian Family Physician, 1683–1687.
Every year we announce the annual awareness days, months and international events which are related to our STD singles. To encourage the spread of awareness of these infections, it is essential that more and more of the awareness events are organized. The events that have already marked their dates for this year are listed below and are excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons about them.
Moreover, international as well as regional meeting and conferences are also major STD events every year. The scholar and institutional conferences often represent the newest innovation and cutting-edge development in Sexual Transmit Disease cure: HSV treatment, HIV vaccine, AIDS medicine etc. With a rise in the recent NGO’s, charity from the different government bodies and international help and support more and more people should think about holding campaigns, lectures, and programs in their schools, colleges, and universities.
March should be a great start where you can start saving your dates to celebrate some important events related to STDs and alongside also make it a point to attend all the events that have been organized by the different institutions and the government.
With a quick rise in the LGBTQ rights and the worsening increase of sexual assaults experienced in a year April should proudly be a month with the most organized events.
May should be primarily dedicated to the teenage, and the younger adults as teen pregnancy have not only shown a rise in its incidence but also earned greater acceptance in the recent years. The schools and colleges should especially try and organize as many events as possible to make the younger generation more cautious about the choices they make and the precautions they can take.
The heat of June is usually booked for picnics and outdoor activities and can mark as an excellent month to talk about many serious issues that can lead to the avoidance of the rise of sexually transmitted diseases. Also, it is critical to encourage women all over the world to go for a regular cervical screening test especially now that many women are being diagnosed with it. Moreover, charitable organizations should play a vital role in carrying out free HIV screening tests to keep track of the spread of it.
Hepatitis is a life-threatening disease that has received recognition and further research in the recent years. However, it would be an even more significant advantage if the public too would be informed about it. The special days allotted to them can be a great opportunity to take these measures ahead. The best way to work on the start of everything is immunization itself and the month of August is just the month to go ahead with all possible events to meet our needs.
The September should be all about women and the precautions that they can take to avoid all the possible incidences of the cancerous conditions that cost you your life.
The important part about STDs, HIV, and Hepatitis is that it is easily transmitted from the mother to the baby during the pregnancy period and it is a must that these women who are already infected or are at a high chance of being infected with this disease should receive the exposure of screening tests.
Owing to the greater acceptance of the transgender society, more people should be instructed about the risks and precautions that come along with it.
And finally the AIDs which is yet another most common disease in our society equally needs immense awareness too, and December is the perfect month to do so.
The increase in these infections has not only destroyed many lives but also continue to do so even in the age of the most advanced drugs. This is probably because many of these drugs are now subject to resistance leaving them useless for the human body. Therefore awareness campaigns are a must to altogether put an end to the spread of infection.
. 2018 STD annual calendar: events, conferences and awareness days/months (1)
. 2018 STD annual calendar: events, conferences and awareness days/months (2)
Breaking the news regarding your HSV/HIV to your family or significant other is never easy. It takes a lot of strength and courage to go about it. Initially, you might have many questions and this article and our previous post of “Tell Your Friends that You Have Herpes” will help answer those HSV singles and ease your mind regarding the situation;
Why is it important to tell someone
People who have herpes are legally advised to disclose this information to any of the family members or people who might be at risk of transmit it and hence have the right to know. It’s a very personal thing - with herpes virus infected you need to protect your privacy as well. Therefore, any person, who is not likely to be infected, does not need to know.
How to break the news
. The disease has been much stigmatized especially because of ignorance and lack of knowledge on people’s part regarding the disease. so it is important that you search up all the facts like herpes basics about it so you’re prepared.
. Reassure yourself that you have nothing to apologize for. You have a virus and herpes infection is not your fault. You did not do this on purpose. It happens to millions of people around the globe. Do not apologize.
. Tell them yourself. Do not rely on your doctor to tell your family. You can if you want to, but it is always better if it comes from you.
. Ease into the conversation. Don’t rush into it. Take your time, it does not matter how long it takes you to come to terms with things, the important thing for you is to be ready. You might still be anxious but that will be over soon.
. Be gentle with it. It is hard for you, yes but it’s also hard for people around you who love and care about you. Give them time to overcome, understand and come to terms with it. It all requires patience.
. While revealing to a significant other, understand their feelings. You need someone who can support you through this. Once you are done with basics you can talk about ways to practice safer sex and help normalize your lives around this new fact.
. Do not isolate yourself as that will put you in a lot of depression. Join herpes support groups, talk to your family and loved ones the minute you get low. Be vocal. Help is always just around the corner.
Monkeys in Florida Park
It is a public warning to avoid touching any monkey at the park or any public places in Florida. It looks like pretty necessary but useful information, particularly today that scientists have discovered that over a quarter of those cute, feral invaders take the deadly herpes B virus. These macaques can be witnessed wandering the area adjacent to the park. It can cause a severe disease in people that if untreated may be fatal in over 70% of the scenarios, inducing an encephalomyelitis.
Scientists are analyzing an increase of rhesus monkeys in Silver Springs State Park state. It is suspected that monkeys are carrying herpes virus which can cause severe health and security problems for the human health as well as the animals of the park. From a healthcare perspective, it is quite common that certain monkey species might be the career of herpes virus. The infected monkeys might transmit the virus through their saliva and other bodily fluids. Individual visitors to the park are likely to be vulnerable through contact with saliva in macaque bites and scrapes or by contact with viral drop through feces and urine.
Researchers warn that the virus and this is comparatively mild and common at the primates, could be deadly to humans. Human cases of this infection are infrequent, with roughly 50 documented globally, and there were no recognized transmissions of it for individuals from crazy rhesus macaques in Florida or elsewhere. On the other hand, the investigators say the problem has not been thoroughly researched. The bizarre fact is the documented cases of herpes are primarily in laboratory technicians who suffered from the virus from food or exposure to contaminated bodily fluids on the job. None were reported in individuals who have been intimidated by an animal such as a monkey.
The existence and continuing growth of these rhesus macaques in Florida may cause severe human health and security risks. Such as human harm and transmission of viral diseases. These monkeys were introduced to the country from 1930 to improve tourism in the region and stable the economic condition.
Herpes-B Virus and sources of transmission
Herpes viruses have a history of infecting different animals in the past. The herpes-b virus is carried by numerous species of macaque monkeys, which are believed to be a natural host for the virus. An increasing population of drifting monkeys in Florida takes a herpes virus that is deadly to people. The herpes-B infection is sporadic in individuals, but if it does happen, it could lead to serious brain injury or death when the individual is not treated immediately.
Signs and Symptoms
Genital herpes infections frequently don't have any symptoms or moderate symptoms which go unrecognized. Most of the infected men and women are unaware they have the disease. Typically, about 10-20 percent of individuals with HSV-2 infection report a previous identification of yeast.
This sort of virus is usually diagnosed with a physical examination. The physician can check your entire body for nausea and inquire about a few of your symptoms. A physician can also ask HSV testing. It will confirm the identification if someone has sores on the genitals.
People with genital HSV disease should abstain from sex while suffering from symptoms of yeast. HSV-2 is the most infectious during an outbreak of nausea, but could also be transmitted if no signs are visible or felt.
Herpes Simplex Virus: The Difference Between HSV-1 And HSV-2
How Do You Know If You Have A Sexually Transmitted Disease(STD)?
HSV isn’t everywhere, but still common
Herpes is a very common viruѕ thаt саuѕеѕ ѕоrеѕ on уоur gеnitаlѕ аnd/оr mоuth. Hеrреѕ is not lifе threatening and usually doesn't lead tо any lоng tеrm ѕеriоuѕ health рrоblеmѕ. Thiѕ viruѕ аffесtѕ thе еxtеrnаl genitalia, аnаl rеgiоn, muсоѕаl ѕurfасеѕ, and ѕkin in оthеr раrtѕ of the body. Thеrе are twо tуреѕ of herpes ѕimрlеx viruѕеѕ, HSV-1 (hеrреѕ tуре 1, оr оrаl hеrреѕ) аnd HSV-2 (hеrреѕ type 2, or gеnitаl herpes). Mоrе thаn 50% оf реорlе in thе United States hаvе HSV-1 аnd around 15.5% оf реорlе in thе US аgеd 14-49 hаvе HSV-2. Sо, most likеlу уоu knоw a few реорlе with herpes.
Cold sores virus could live several hours outside body
Herpes viruses frоm соld sores аrоund thе mоuth саn ѕurvivе fоr twо hоurѕ on thе skin. If you hаvе a соld ѕоrе, trу nоt tо touch it. If уоu dо tоuсh it, for example tо apply cold sore сrеаm, wash уоur hаndѕ immеdiаtеlу afterwards. Shower bеfоrе аnd аftеr еntеring a hоt tub or рооl tо аvоid exacerbating аnу skin соnditiоnѕ. Avоid еntеring hоt tubs оr ѕwimming рооlѕ with ореn hеrреѕ sores оr ѕkin brеаkѕ аѕ a рrесаutiоnаrу measure. If you hаvе broken skin аnd it comes intо соntасt with thе live HSV viruѕ on thе surface, it mау be роѕѕiblе to соntrасt thе herpes simplex viruѕ in this manner. Hеrреѕ ѕimрlеx can livе outside оf the bоdу fоr a short реriоd, uѕе tоilеt соvеringѕ in public bathrooms whеnеvеr роѕѕiblе, аnd аvоid contact with ѕkin in аnу public seating аrеа.
Several occasions where herpes virus may appear
Viruѕ diеѕ quiсklу оutѕidе the bоdу, уоu саn't gеt herpes frоm hugging, holding hands, соughing, sneezing, оr ѕitting оn tоilеt ѕеаtѕ. Aѕ реорlе learn mоrе about HIV аnd AIDS, thеу'vе figurеd оut that thiѕ really iѕn't роѕѕiblе. But one STI hеrреѕ still remains mуѕtеriоuѕ tо a grеаt many people. As a rеѕult, the idеа that a person can соntrасt hеrреѕ from drinking fountains аnd tоilеt ѕеаtѕ rеmаinѕ a соmmоn nоtiоn. The majority оf реорlе do nоt еxреriеnсе аnу ѕуmрtоmѕ fоr months or еvеn years after thеу have been infесtеd. Thоѕе who dо еxреriеnсе ѕуmрtоmѕ right аwау will nоtiсе thеm аnуwhеrе from 2-12 dауѕ after being еxроѕеd. A herpes оutbrеаk can show symptoms frоm mild to ѕеvеrе and mау inсludе:
• Blisters аnd ulсеrаtiоn оn еxtеrnаl genitalia, in thе vаginа, оr on the cervix
• Vаginаl diѕсhаrgе
• Pain аnd itching
• Tender, enlarged lymph nodes
• Pain when urinаting
• High tеmреrаturе (fever)
• Mаlаiѕе (feeling unwеll)
• Cоld ѕоrеѕ around thе mоuth
• Rеd bliѕtеrѕ on thе ѕkin