Herpes


Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections occur worldwide and can only be transmitted between humans. It is easy to know that you have herpes if you get cold sores or recurrent genital herpes. Herpes cannot be cured, but there are a variety of treatment options available for this common condition.

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Herpes virus infections are common in both men and women. Most of these infections however are silent and do not cause disease. We have developed this guide to help you understand the basics of these conditions and to advise you about treatment options and available vaccines.

Abouit Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes Overview
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections occur worldwide and can only be transmitted between humans. There are two subtypes of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is commonly associated with oral infection (herpes labialis or cold sores), whereas HSV-2 is associated with genital infection...

What is a Herpes Simplex Virus
HSV is a large, double stranded DNA virus. All the programming of the virus’ ability to infect someone is contained in the DNA. The DNA is packaged in a “diamond like” protein structure, called an icosahedron. The virus also has an “over coat”, the envelope, which is necessary for the “docking” procedure when the virus infects a cell...

HSV-1 Infections
Most primary infections with HSV-1 are asymptomatic. However, primary infection can cause a variety of clinical symptoms such as infection of the mouth and gums (gingivostomatitis) and a sore throat (pharyngitis) in children...

HSV-2 Infections
The characteristics of primary genital herpes infection range from no noticeable symptoms to tingling and numbness in the legs (lower extremities) and lower part of the body between the genitals and anus (perineum), painful genital ulcers, painful urination, and tender lymph nodes in the groin...

Herpes in Pregnancy
Genital HSV infection in pregnant women must be considered separately from that in non pregnant women because of the risk to the fetus or the new-born (“neonate”)...

Neonatal Herpes
Neonatal herpes is the term used when a baby develops symptoms of herpes infection before he/she is born or within the first 6 weeks of life. It may occur when the baby is still in the womb (intra uterine/congenital infection)...

Cold Sores

Cold Sores - Facts and Triggers
A cold sore is a recurrent herpes infection. After primary infection in the oral region, the virus travels through nearby nerves and establishes a dormant infection in a nerve-centre (ganglion). It may stay dormant forever or...

Cold Sores - Environment Protection
Infectious HSV is present in cold sores and in genital herpes when blisters are present. In such a situation, you should avoid kissing and sexual intercourse until such time as the lesions are healed...

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes - Facts and Triggers
Genital herpes is a common disease worldwide, and it is estimated that 45 million people in the US are afflicted. Most genital herpes infection is caused by HSV-2, but HSV-1 may also infect the genital tract in both women and men...

Genital Herpes - Environment Protection
As long as the blisters remain, there is infectious virus. So avoid unprotected sex. The only way to protect yourself or your partner from asymptomatic shedding is to always have protected sex...

Medical Treatment

Diagnosis of Herpes
It is easy to know that you have herpes if you get cold sores or recurrent genital herpes. Cold sores are often triggered by stress or excessive sunshine (skiing, sunbathing). Some women may also experience cold sores associated with...

Available Treatment for Herpes
There are now several drugs available in Canada to treat herpes, such as acyclovir (Zovirax®), valacyclovir (Valtrex®), famciclovir (Famvir®), penciclovir (Denavir®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®, Vitrasert®), vidarabine (Vira-A®), cidofovir (Vistide®), and foscarnet (Foscavir®)...

Herpes - Treatment Charts
Not everyone will need to be treated when they have genital herpes or cold sores. The decision to treat or not is up to you and your healthcare provider...


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