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The Herpes Simplex Virus: Symptoms and Cures

  • Date : 2009-03-29 : Rev. 2017-02-18
  • Caroline Smith
  • Synopsis : Herpes simplex 1 is the most common strain and is the cause of cold sores and fever blisters that appear around the mouth lips and gums.

Main Document

There is often great confusion when it comes to herpes. Just the word "herpes" often conjures up images of a particularly nasty sexually transmitted disease.

But did you know that herpes actually stems from a virus known as the herpes simplex virus? And were you aware, that the chances are that you have already caught it at some stage during your life? In fact, statistics show that around 85% of the world's population has been infected, and it is in fact the hardest virus to control known to man. However, this is often where the confusion stems from. You see, there are two strains of the virus, known as herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2).

What are the Symptoms of herpes

Before convincing you to get tested and try the latest genital herpes treatment, it is important that you understand the symptoms so that you are not subjected to the same myths that continue to help perpetuate this disease.

Genital herpes is more than a blister; in fact, it is a virus that remains dormant in the spine after each outbreak. Most often, people with herpes get the commonly known sore, but sometimes an outbreak is little more than tingling, redness and maybe some bumps. So, if you think you may have it, get tested and get treatment.

The symptoms usually last 1-2 weeks.

Once infected, HSV remains in the nerve cells of your body for life, and outbreaks (recurrence) can occur several times a year. Despite there still being no cure, scientists are confident that a vaccination will be developed in the next 5 years. However, an effective treatment to reduce the pain and recurrence of symptoms is Acyclovir (Zovirax), which is an antiviral medication. This can be taken in an ointment form, liquid, orally, or even intravenously depending on the severity of the outbreak. Always consult your doctor before taking any new course of medication.

Herpes Simplex 1

Herpes simplex 1 is the most common strain and is the cause of cold sores and fever blisters that appear around the mouth, lips and gums.

Now everyone's heard of a cold sore, but did you know that it is in fact oral herpes? Despite around 85% of the population being infected with HSV-1, not all people will develop cold sores or lesions around the mouth. This is because each person's immune system is unique and many are able to suppress an outbreak. Instead, the virus lies dormant, although a carrier will still be able to pass the virus on under certain conditions.

Herpes Simplex 2

The second strand of the virus, herpes simplex 2, is the virus responsible for genital herpes.

Genital herpes is one of the most prevalent STDs, and more worryingly, research shows that there has been 32% rise in the U.S alone between 1978 and 1990. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 5 American teenagers and adults is infected with HSV-2.

The symptoms of genital herpes usually occur within 2 weeks of contracting the virus. The area infected can include the genitals, rectum, buttocks, thighs, or any other part of the body where the virus could have entered through broken skin. Small red bumps appear first which develop into itchy blisters. Other common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, difficulty urinating, vaginal odor and discharge, and swollen glands in the groin area.

An old cliche is that prevention is better than cure, and this certainly applies to herpes.

  • Never engage in oral sex if your partner has either mouth herpes or genital herpes.
  • Never share towels, cutlery or a toothbrush with an infected person.
  • Always practice safe sex. Using a condom can significantly reduce the risk of transmission, although it is by no means 100% effective, since it may not cover all infected areas.


There is no current cure for genital herpes. However, for millions of people with genital herpes, there is a treatment that is proven to dramatically decrease the number of outbreaks a person gets. This latest genital herpes treatment is Valtrex. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer, or think you suffer from Herpes, now is the time to act. Get tested by your doctor, then ask her about using once-daily Valtrex as a possible proactive treatment regimen.

Valtrex, recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, may offer the best hope to sufferers at the present time. It can significantly reduce the chance of transmission, although the person infected must take it continuously.

Is Valtrex the Only Medication on the Market?

While Valtrex is certainly one of the latest genital herpes treatments to hit the mainstream, it is not the only medication available. There are a number of treatments available: These include acyclovir, Zovirax famciclovir, Famvir and valacyclovir. However, Valtrex is one of the only drugs currently available that is taken everyday. Because of this, it has a greater success rate when it comes to decreasing the number of recurrences.

What are the Side Effects?

Unfortunately, even one of the latest genital herpes treatment, is not without side effects. This is because it is a medication and, like any other drug, sometimes reacts adversely in certain body types. With this in mind, be aware that Valtrex is only intended for patients with a healthy immune system, which includes patients with advanced HIV disease. Also, be sure to inform your doctor should you suffer from kidney problems, because it may be necessary to alter your dosage accordingly.

No, there is no cure for herpes. However, with the latest genital herpes treatment, it is now possible to live a life that is outbreak free. Can you imagine? No more embarrassing and painful sores, which means no more time fidgeting in your chair at work or trying to pick out an outfit that is comfortable when nothing truly is? For this kind of freedom, contact your doctor today and ask her about Valtrex.

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