Saturday, January 9, 2010

What are the signs and symptoms of genital herpes?

Most people infected with HSV-2 are not aware of their infection. However, if signs and symptoms during the first outbreak can be quite pronounced. The first outbreak usually occurs within two weeks following the transmission of the virus and the sores typically heal within two to four weeks.

Other signs and symptoms during the primary episode may include a second series of sores and flu-like symptoms, including fever and swollen glands. However, most people with HSV-2 infection never have sores, or they may have very mild signs that go unnoticed or are mistaken for insect bites or other skin conditions.

Most people who have been diagnosed with a first case of genital herpes can expect to have several (typically four or five) outbreaks (symptomatic recurrences) within a period of one year. Usually, these recurrences reduce in frequency as time passes. It is possible that the person to realize he had a case of genital herpes acquired years after infection.

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Causes of Herpes

Direct skin contact with skin can transmit herpes. This includes touching, kissing and sexual contact (vaginal, anal and oral). The wet parts of the mouth, throat, anus, vulva, vagina and eyes very easily become infected. The skin can become infected if it is cut, irritated, burned, with a rash or other injuries. Herpes can be passed from one person to another, or part of one's body to another. If a person has a cold mouth sores can transmit the virus during oral sex and cause genital herpes. Herpes is spread more easily when there are open sores. Also can be passed before reaching the blisters form. It spreads less easily when the blisters have healed, the scabs have fallen and the skin has returned to normal. It is highly unlikely that herpes is transmitted through toilet seats, swimming pools, bathtubs, whirlpools or wet towels. An infected mother can pass the virus to her baby during or after delivery.

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Herpes drug may help control AIDS virus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A cheap, generic drug long used to treat herpes may also help control the AIDS virus, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

They found that acyclovir can work against HIV, but only in tissues that are also infected with herpes.

The findings, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, help explain why some studies have shown that people taking acyclovir have lower levels of HIV, yet others show that taking acyclovir does not prevent infection with the AIDS virus.

The herpes virus itself changes the drug into a form that can work against HIV, said Dr. Leonid Margolis of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, who helped lead the study.

"If you suppress herpes, HIV also goes down," Margolis said in a telephone interview.

He hopes his team can now find better ways to use acyclovir against AIDS, and perhaps design new products, like a microbicide, to prevent infection.

"The findings open up promising new avenues of investigation in the fight against the AIDS virus," NICHD director Dr. Duane Alexander said in a statement.
Acyclovir was the first drug to be designed and made synthetically, without the use of any compounds from plants or animals, Margolis said.

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Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that causes painful sores on and around the genitals. It is spread by direct contact with open sores, usually during sex.

The virus called Herpes simplex II causes it.What are the common symptoms?

Both men and women may have one or more symptoms, including:

* Tingling or itching in the genital or anal area
* Cluster of tiny fluid-filled blisters. These blisters burst and leave painful sores that last from two to three weeks.
* A flu-like illness like headache, backache, swollen glands or fever
* Painful urination if it passes over any of the open sores

Complications: Women who are currently shedding the virus can pass the infection to their baby during childbirth causing encephalitis or even death.Recurrent episodes occur in most but not all people and can happen years after the first episode.
famvir is a medical treatment created to help people during the effects of the genital herpes such as the pain, the sores.

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