Herpes and shingles: two flowers in a single branch?
Much have been said about the influence of dating someone with herpes. However, the issue of shingles is something that is not a topic that is very common in today’s health world. Yet, this has the similar effects on the human body and the overall perception of the people. In order to better understand the similarity of the shingles and herpes, it is important to explore the basics about this two relatively similar issues.
Shingles are form of viral infection that can cause a painful rash. Similar as the herpes, shingles can develop anywhere on your body. However, in most cases patients shingles appear as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of the torso. Based on the present medical studies, shingles is by the varicella-zoster virus. This element is the same that causes chickenpox. Many people tend to suffer from chickenpox during the early age, yet the virus stays into the spinal cord and brain which can prompt an activation of the virus years later, and the result is the occurrence of shingles.
On the other side, herpes also known as Herpes Simplex, is a contagious sexually transmitted disease that is usually during sexual intimacy. The signs and symptoms are usually slow to appear and may take up to two weeks prior to the first symptoms occurrence. However, after contacting people with herpes, it may take months or years before developing some of the symptoms. The virus tends to stay in the human body and its appearance is closely related to the person overall health condition, age and the immune system.
Herpes vs. Shingles – A Comparative Analysis
Nevertheless, the ultimate question is what these two elements have in common.
There are various researches and medical studies have defined shingles and herpes as being two different diagnoses. However, they belong to the same branch as they share the same family of viruses, wherein the herpes virus. This is the basic similarity between the two elements.
Both viruses, herpes, and shingles stay in the person for a lifetime. Both viruses share a similar pattern which is closely related to the appearance of the symptoms. To be more specific, herpes and shingles can stay inactive for long periods of time and can develop or show symptoms after long periods of months and possibly years. Moreover, herpes and shingles share a common symptom and that is fever, headache or just a feeling of general discomfort. Furthermore, these two viruses can implicate certain skin irritation such as skin rash and blisters. These are all important aspects, as it may confuse many affected people. They may think that they have herpes symptoms, when in fact it is shingles and vice versa.
Based on the findings, we can safely conclude that these two viruses are viral and that have some similarities and shared symptoms. That is why it is imperative to consult with the health specialist in order to determine which virus is present in the body system in order to get the proper medication.
The challenge of STD
The challenge of STD represents a complex issue for which many people do not have enough information. However, there are many that are facing this reality on a daily basis. According to the World Health Organizations two-thirds of the planet’s population under 50 lives with HSV-1, the strain of herpes that can be transmitted without penetrative sex. Moreover, approximately 80% of people with herpes are not aware that they have it. The ones that are aware, often face stigmas and stereotypes from other people in the society. That is why it is imperative to understand that this controversial issue should not discourage meeting HSV singles or people with herpes. In this article, we will analyze the widespread of herpes and how HSV singles can engage in dating and networking like any other people out there.
Be active on dating sites
The first notable idea is to be active on the dating sites. Many people find it challenging to approach and to find themselves a date. That is where these unique online platforms can connect people that have HSV. Moreover, there are specific dating sites that are specifically aiming to connect HSV singles. The general benefit of this is that people with herpes can start interacting with other people without going through the “herpes talk”. In the same time, the element of stereotypes and stigma can be avoided.
Take part in social events
The second idea is to socialize and to take part in social events. On that note, it is important to emphasize that around 3.7 billion people worldwide have herpes. Yet these people are still active in their communities and with their daily life activities. There is no reason that the HSV singles should not be taking part in parties, special events, hanging out with friends and dating.
Another supportive argument for this thesis is the fact that HSV can be transmitted simply through a skin contact. So, we may be infected by simply shaking hands with our supervisors, friends, relatives and other peers.
The third tip is to join a community groups where people can interact with others in order to express their stress, worries and exchange experiences regarding the issue of HSV. Seeing the issue through the prism of other’s people experience can have a galvanizing effect for HSV singles to be active and to engage with other people with herpes.
Is it Serious?
In order to better understand the topic, the crucial clarification that is needed is the actual reality of herpes in people’s lives.
Although HSV can be serious in a way that can cause several problems, the reality is that for many people infected with herpes, nothing happens. Many people may never know they have it thus enabling them to have an active dating life without the worries. Also in most cases, it does not have any negative effects. Nevertheless, it is still beneficial to use protection when facing these issues thus preventing a possible herpes outbreak.
In a final note, we can conclude that by acknowledging how easily transmissible the virus is and just how many people have it, combined with an active prevention and testing – we can avoid the stigma and the potential shame that some people may feel in the communities.
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.
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)?