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Herpes by Megan Karr

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Herpes is a life-long sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSV. There are two types of the Herpes Simplex Virus; Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV1) and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV2). Herpes Simplex Virus 1 typically causes cold sores or oral herpes and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 typically causes genital herpes. Herpes may be mistaken for pimples, or an allergic reaction due to the fact that a Herpes outbreak consists of small red bumps or sores. Herpes can occur in multiply places on the body, such as genital region, buttock, thighs or rectal region. The Herpes simplex virus can also be found in cold sores which typically appear around the mouth.

Herpes can be passed on to others in multiply ways. The most common are through unprotected genital or oral sex. Pregnant woman with genital herpes also risk the chance of passing the virus on to their baby during labor. A C-section is usually the most effective way to prevent the virus from passing to new born children. Herpes Simplex Virus 1 can be passed on to others by sharing drinks, chap stick, kissing, or through saliva.

The symptoms of Herpes are not always noticeable. The first outbreak usually results in a few sores near the infected area. The sores become itchy blisters, then heal. Outbreaks occur less as the first year of infection continues and can soon disappear all together. Herpes can still spread to others even if outbreaks do not occur. Just because the outbreaks have ceased does not mean the virus has been cured or fought off by the body.

The Herpes Simplex Virus is not a curable disease. There is no treatment to cure herpes, but there are some medicines that may help the body fight off the Herpes Simplex Virus. The medicine will cause outbreaks to occur less often, and symptoms will decrease. While on the medicine the chances of passing the virus to a partner are less likely but still may occur. The simplest way to avoid the Herpes Simplex Virus is abstaining from sexual intercourse. Other ways to decrease the likelihood of becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus is the proper use a latex condom or asking your partner to get tested before having oral or genital sex.

Works cited

Cold Sores: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 09 Oct. 2011.

Genital Herpes: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. 20 Sept. 2011. Web. 09 Oct. 2011.

Herpes Simplex: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. 06 Sept. 2011. Web. 09 Oct. 2011. <>.


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