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|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
Herpes genital (genital Herpes simplex)
|Overview Symptoms Treatment Prevention|
|Genital herpes; Herpes simplex - genital; Herpesvirus 2; HSV-2|
Condoms remain the best protection against acquiring genital herpes when sexually active. CORRECT and CONSISTENT use of a condom will help prevent the transmission of the disease.
The use of LATEX condoms is mandatory -- animal membrane condoms should be avoided, since the virus can penetrate them. The female condom has been tested and shown to successfully reduce transmission risk as well.
Otherwise, prevention is difficult, due to the fact that the virus can be spread to others even when the infected person has no obvious evidence of infection. Clearly, individuals with genital herpes should avoid sexual contact when active lesions are present.
In addition, individuals with known genital herpes, but without current clinical symptoms should inform their partner that they have the disease. This precaution allows both parties to use barrier protection (to prevent the spread of the illness).
Pregnant women with the herpes simplex infection should receive weekly viral cultures of the cervix and external genitalia as the delivery date approaches. If the viral culture is positive for herpes, or active lesions are present at delivery, a cesarean delivery (C-section) is recommended to avoid infecting the newborn.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: How is genital herpes transmitted?
A: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is transmitted from one person to another by skin-to-skin contact. The virus is shed from visible sores, blisters, or a rash during outbreaks, but can also be shed from the affected area between outbreaks of symptoms.
HSV is transmitted to the area of skin with which it comes into contact. There are also some cases by which other types of contact can spread HSV. For example, a variant of herpes, known as herpes gladiatorium, may be passed on during body contact sports, such as wrestling.
Q: Is there a vaccination?
A: Vaccines against herpes have been produced but are still considered experimental drugs. Trials for these vaccines are designed to establish whether the vaccines will prevent outbreaks of genital herpes in people who have not experienced it previously. Conclusive results from trials are not yet available. Vaccines are not, however, a curative or palliative treatment for individuals with herpes.
Female reproductive anatomy