Infection with herpes simplex
Pelvis | Preventative Medicine | Infection with herpes simplex (Disease)
Genital herpes is caused by infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV, HSV-1 and HSV-2, both of which belong to a wider group called Herpesviridae. Another well-known virus in this group is varicella zoster virus, which causes chicken-pox and shingles.
In general, HSV-1 is acquired orally, causing cold sores, HSV-2 is acquired during sexual contact and affects the genital area.
Only around 10-25 percent of people infected with HSV-2 are aware they have genital herpes. This is because genital herpes will often produce mild symptoms or no symptoms at all (asymptomatic infection). As a result, many cases of genital herpes go undiagnosed and frequently people unknowingly pass the virus on to their sexual partners
Causes and Risk factors
Although genital herpes used to almost always be caused by HSV-2 infection, HSV-1 is accounting for an increasing number of cases of genital herpes in developed countries.
Diagnosis and Treatment
No drug can cure herpes simplex virus. The infection may recur after treatment has been stopped, and, even during therapy, a patient can still transmit the virus to another person. Drugs can, however, reduce symptoms and improve healing times. ...