The fact that both Herpes and HIV are STDs, a lot of people diagnosed with Herpes want to know the answer to the question: What are my chances of getting HIV if I have contracted Herpes?
Many studies have corroborated on the correlation between contracting HIV after a person is diagnosed with Herpes and the results do state an increase possibility of contracting HIV. In fact, the studies have revealed that a person becomes four to five times more vulnerable to HIV infection after having herpes IF they are exposed to HIV. It may sound too obvious but if someone is not exposed to HIV even if they have herpes, they have no risk of contracting HIV.
STDs or STIs like syphilis, herpes, or chancroid, can cause sores on the genitals which can make the transmission of HIV a lot of easier. This is why:
The open sores make it easy for the HIV to get into the body.
Also, when you have contracted Herpes, your body is producing disease-fighting cells called macrophages. The production of macrophages allows HIV to bind to them in the mucous membranes of the anus or vagina, getting a direct access to the bloodstream.
The infected area is concentrated with macrophages so there are more chances for HIV to enter the body.
People diagnosed with both herpes and HIV are more prone to transmitting them to their partners. The host body provides enough room for replication which helps HIV virus load to increase in the blood and sexual fluids. Then, if someone has HIV, their outbreak of herpes can last longer because of the aggravated body immunity.
Treating herpes and HIV is the only way to reduce the transmission.
Herpes or not, try considering these few options if you are sexually active:
• Don’t forget to use latex condoms during oral, vaginal or anal sex.
• Refraining from sex during herpes outbreak could decrease the chances of transmitting both herpes and HIV.
• Get tested regularly for herpes and HIV, and if any treatments are required, they shouldn’t be delayed under any circumstance.
• Avoid promiscuous behavior and if you are having sex with new partners, talk to them about any past or current infections first.
It’s true that there aren’t any cures for herpes and HIV, but it’s important that you realize how you can reduce the exposure to others by getting treated. Also, if you doubt that you might be exposed to the either infection, make sure to get yourself tested.
Avoid unprotected sex even when the herpes symptoms start to disappear. Many patients have contracted herpes even past their initial treatment. So it’s wise to stay away from sex for some time. We aren’t suggesting you stay sex-free all your life, but the first few months are really critical, so watch out for them.
Having herpes during pregnancy could be a very precarious issue for the expecting mother as she is constantly struggling through the labyrinth of keeping their kids safe from the herpes outbreak. Well, the good news is: It’s not as bad as you may have been told. There are a few of different scenarios that can alter the risk of your baby contracting the infection.
In this post, we will be answering a few different FAQs that expecting mothers with herpes are usually looking for.
1. I have genital herpes – how is it going to affect my baby?
Herpes can show up in newborns in a few different ways:
- Skin, eye, and mouth infections (SEM)
A baby with SEM at the time of delivery could experience sores as much as up to six weeks later. However, the symptoms usually become visible within the first or second week.
With SEM, your baby can have blisters anywhere on their body. However, they are more common around baby’s skin with minor bruise or injury (like the area under the hospital wristband). If your newborn has SEM, don’t worry, because there aren’t any developmental problems associated with it as long as it's treated right away with an intravenous acyclovir.
- Central Nervous system (CNS) disease
This a slightly more serious case as CNS disease could cause fever, irritability, poor feeding, lethargy and even seizures in the baby. Around one-third of newborns contract herpes that affects CNS; the symptoms, however, could take around one to two weeks to show up and sometimes, even more.
- Disseminated disease
The chances of your baby contracting the Disseminated disease from herpes is around 25 percent. Disseminated disease is life threatening as it affects body's vital organs like the liver and lungs. The symptoms usually show up in the first week but it’s quite tricky to diagnose them because the sores necessarily don't develop by that time.
2. Can I have a vaginal delivery if I have herpes?
Well, it depends on when you contracted the infection. Women who contract the infection before their third trimester or those before pregnancy develop antibodies against the infection which are transferred to the baby through the placenta. Also, if no signs of herpes show up when your water breaks or your labor starts, then your doctor will have an examination to check if it’s safe for you to have a vaginal delivery. Moreover, the risk of your baby contracting the disease is just around 1 percent in this case.
Alternatively, if your body is showing the symptoms of the outbreak, then you are more likely to have a cesarean delivery. The usual signs of the outbreak include sores on the vagina, cervix or other painful symptoms like burning and tingling.
If your delivery is going to take place during the first outbreak of herpes, your risk of transmitting the disease to your newborn rise up to 50 percent.
Dating with herpes could be a tough phase of your life, and if you already have a partner, it’s best that you choose the right moment and break the news to them about it ASAP. But wait, it doesn’t have to be like “Hey, I have to talk to you about something and it’s very serious”. That’s how you usually deliver the news about someone’s death or when you are up for some argument.
Picking up the right time to tell your partner could leave you with a very high chance that your relationship would work out. But even then, it all gets down to how you are going to tell them.
Just imagine how you would want your partner to know about the news. Do you want to make it sound like a big problem? It shouldn’t. Living with herpes doesn’t have sound like this: “I have some terrible news for you”. If you perceive it to be a terrible news, your partner is certainly going to believe the same. You have to be casual, unemotional and indirect, but at the same time, you don’t have to sound impolite.
Also, you should really avoid how they should respond to the news, and don’t ever say to them “You are really going to freak out hearing what I have to tell you, but don’t panic”. Your partner is definitely going panic with this kind of attitude, even if they weren’t.
Telling your partner that you have herpes is as simple as saying “My doctor recently ran some tests and he told me that I might have virus that causes herpes”. Simple and effective and no panicking involved. However, before you tell them what I just told you, it’s important that you educate yourself as much as you could about herpes; after all, you will be living with herpes for sometime.
Learn About Herpes
This part won’t only help your partner to understand your condition better, but would also help you realize that it isn’t something anomalous, especially when you are living in US where every one in five adults have herpes. But apart from all this, you might also want to know what herpes is about and how it affects the person contracting it. You also must educate yourself about the symptoms associated with herpes, as your partner is going to ask you about them or when you will be dating with herpes. Sometimes, the symptoms could be visible with sores all over the genitals, but in some cases, the would hardly be noticeable. Then, your partner might also want to know if the you could continue your sex life while you have herpes, so you will also need to visit your doctor to learn what’s safe and what’s not.
For a starter package on sex and dating during herpes, use these tips:
.• If you have oral herpes, you would need to avoid mouth-to-mouth, or mouth-to-genital sex. And if you have genital herpes, you could still have safe sex to some degree by using latex condoms.
• Genital-to-genital or mouth-to-mouth aren’t the only ways to fulfill your sex life. You could also try mutual masturbation which is almost risk free. You two could masturbate side by side and can help each other with masturbating.
• Remember not to touch your partner if you have touched a herpes sore.
• No body fluids could be exchanged, remember that.
• You could also use dildos or vibrators if you both are into toys.
Also, remember that the aforementioned are a few things that you might only want to discuss if your partner is showing a willingness to listen to them. You don’t have to tell them if they seem uninterested or intimidated hearing the news.
Right Setting Really Matters
It’s not just your language that’s going to determine the outcome. You might also want to choose the right time to tell your partner about the news. Don’t call them while they are at work, or barge into their room while they are in the middle of something.
But there are different comfortable settings that you could make use of. For instance, a conversation over a quite dinner could work or when you are having a walk in the park. Avoid places that could really interrupt their focus or concentration.
The worst time to tell your partner that you have herpes other than after sex is when you two are ready to have sex and your clothes are already off. it could really spoil the mood of your partner. Let the topic come up more naturally; that would really help with avoiding the news to turn into a bombshell. You could use the technique that we discussed earlier about doctor and tests.
It’s possible that your partner might take the news badly no matter how comfortably you deliver it. In that case, you don’t have to be defensive; it’s their prerogative and you have to respect that. But if your relationship is valuable enough, your partner would be ready to face it and continue the relationship.
Most people are concerned about their overall health and wellbeing, and living a healthy life to the fullest. Yet many individuals, especially sexually active young adults, are not as concerned about contracting or carrying a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as they should be.
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the number of reported cases of new STD infections is on the rise across the entire United States. More specifically, one in six Americans is infected with an STD today. The American Social Health Organization estimates that one out of four teenagers in the U.S. become infected with an STD every year and that by the age of 25, half of all sexually active young adults will have contracted an STD.
More alarmingly, these statistics understate the actual rate of STD infection across the country because there are roughly an equal number of unreported cases of STDs as reported cases, and many people are infected with an STD such as herpes but are unaware that they are infected.
There are a number of STDs that can be contracted today, some more common than others. Some of these STDs pose a serious medical threat to your health both in the short term and later on in life. Other STDs are more benign and are less threatening to your overall health. However, all STDs should be diagnosed and treated appropriately.
How can you determine if you are infected with an STD or not? To begin with, if you are sexually active with multiple partners and practice unprotected sex, then you are at high risk of contracting an STD. The symptoms of an STD vary from one disease to another, and sometimes there are no symptoms at all. If symptoms are present they many include one or more of the following:
· Itching near the genitals
· Bumps, sores or warts near the mouth or genitals
· Swelling or redness near the genitals
· Pain when urinating
· Fluid discharges
· Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
· Aches, fever, chills
· Painful sex
· Skin rash
· Weight loss
· Loose stools
· Night sweats
STDs are a serious illness with severe health consequences that require diagnosis and treatment early. Some STDs, such as HIV, cannot be cured and can be fatal. If you exhibit one or more of the above symptoms, you should see your doctor and be examined for an STD.
If you think you have contracted an STD or know someone who has, the best course of action is to see a doctor as soon as possible as get tested. Only a medical examination and testing can confirm with certainty that you have contracted an STD or not. Also, once diagnosed with an STD, your medical professional will determine the best course of action to treat and/or cure the disease.
While many people think they know what a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is, or think they know a lot about STDs, in truth most people know only a little about STDs, what they are and how they are transmitted. Most people have heard of the common STDs in our population today, but there are other STDs that are less prevalent or less well known.
In general, an STD is an infectious disease or infection, also referred to as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), that is spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact that can be casual in nature, like a friendly peck on the check, or more intimate. STDs can be caused by bacteria or a virus. STDs affect men and women equally regardless of race, geography, sexual preference, age, social status or any other demographic identifier. STDs are easily spread and once you are infected, the disease can lay dormant for periods of time, becoming active periodically often during times of stress.
Symptoms of an STD can include itching and sores on the infected area, usually around the genitals or mouth, pain when urinating, and fluid discharges. However, many people carry an STD and experience no symptoms or show no visible signs of the infection. This is one of the reasons they spread so easily.
There are many different types of STDs ranging from the benign to very malignant and harmful ones. Some are treatable and others are incurable today. Most people are aware of today’s common STDs, but some STDs are less well known and equally as harmful to your health. Following is a list of the more well-known STDS:
• Chlamydia – a very common and easily curable STD that can lead to infertility if left untreated
• Gonorrhea – a treatable STD only transmitted through sexual activity
• Herpes – two versions of the herpes simplex virus exist: genital herpes and oral herpes, most people infected with genital herpes are unaware they have the disease
• Syphilis – one of the oldest known STDs and easily treatable with antibiotics, untreated it can cause severe symptoms and health issues
• Hepatitis B – can cause serious health issues if untreated
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – a lethal virus that attacks the immune system, there is currently no known cure
• Genital warts – caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), are not dangerous but are easily transmitted and require immediate treatment
One common misconception is that STDs can only be spread through sexual intercourse. This is not the case. An STD can be spread through any casual skin-to-skin contact involving an infected area or sore. This is one of the reasons for the recent rapid spread of the herpes virus, especially among teenagers. STDs also spread more easily than people are aware because often it is difficult to tell whether someone is infected or not. Many people have an STD and are unaware of it. These people are highly likely to pass along their STD to others.
There is a wealth of information available on the internet regarding STDs, what they are, their symptoms and known treatments. Use good judgment in researching reputable or medical sites. If you think you have contracted an STD or know someone who has, the best course of action is to see a doctor as soon as possible.