Ask an expert

06 Mar 2003

Hepies - Can I move on with my life.
Do people living with Gernital hepes have healthy relations with their partners and also have children in the future cause I was infected with the virus but tested Negative for HIV. I'm scared how will I tell my future partner about this cause to me it is the same as having tested positive for HIV. Is there any future for us to live happy ever after. I know I have to live with this diseas for rest of my life but , I'm even scared to meet with ladys cause I'm thinking how will any one live with someone like me.
Answer 830 views

01 Jan 0001

Herpes simplex is a common virus that is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. Symptoms of genital herpes usually develop within two to twenty days after contact with the virus, although it may take far longer. For some people, the first attack is so mild that it goes unnoticed. For others, the first attack causes visible sores and flulike symptoms. In either case, the virus eventually retreats to the nervous system and lies dormant there.

Some people have frequent recurrences, while others rarely do; and, for many, this number decreases with time. With each recurrence, your body is more prepared to fight off the infection, so there is usually fewer sores, they heal faster, and the outbreak is less painful. The flulike symptoms of the first outbreak are seldom present during subsequent outbreaks.

Herpes affects each person differently. The following factors could bring on an episode: surgery, illness, stress, fatigue, skin irritation (such as sunburn), diet, menstruation, or excessive friction during intercourse.

Your worries about transmission are understandable. Sexual contact poses a risk for transmitting herpes from the time the first symptoms of itching, tingling, or other skin sensations are noticeable, until the area is completely healed. Sexual contact during times when no symptoms are present (asymptomatic) is less likely to cause infection. However, people tend to have sex more often when they have no sores, which increases the risk of transmission.

The virus can become active and transmitted without any detectable symptoms. During this time, the virus travels along the nerves to skin and mucous membrane sites. The presence of the virus at the surface of the skin is referred to as "viral shedding," or "asymptomatic shedding." Herpes virus can be transmitted during viral shedding. There is really no way to tell when viral shedding is occurring. Your body gives you no warning, such as minor pain, discomfort, or a tingling sensation in the skin where the shedding is going on.

There's good news where prevention is concerned. Laboratory results have shown that the herpes virus does not pass through latex condoms. A recent clinical study of women has shown that herpes simplex 2 infection rates are much lower among condom users. Keep in mind that herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact; the virus can be transmitted by contact with infected areas not covered by a condom or dam.

If you're concerned about the long-term -- a lasting relationship and possibly having children -- don't despair. Couples come to different kinds of peace with herpes. Several women and men with herpes who have had several partners, have gotten married, and/or have had healthy children, some by C-section and some by vaginal delivery. The obstetrician and midwife can monitor during pregnancy and labour.

Lastly, give yourself the best possible chance to avoid recurrences by maintaining general good health and keeping your stress levels to a minimum. Eat well, sleep, and try to keep a healthy perspective on life.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
34% - 9266 votes
66% - 17851 votes