Herpes Simplex Virus Facts

Herpes Simplex Virus Facts
The herpes simplex viruses (1 and 2) are viruses that cause either cold sores (HSV-1) or genital herpes (HSV-2) in humans. Both herpes viruses are contagious and able to spread when a person that carries the virus is producing and shedding. Herpes simplex virus 1 is the cold sore that causes a watery blister on or around the lips. It can be spread through oral contact or through saliva. It can also lead to genital herpes if transmitted to the genital region of the body. Herpes simplex virus 2 is spread through sexual contact almost exclusively and results in genital herpes which is a lifelong infection. Infection of both forms of herpes simplex virus is a global issue. There is no cure.
Interesting Herpes Simplex Virus Facts:
Most people that acquire herpes simplex virus 1 contract the virus in childhood.
Approximately 67% of the global population, under the age of 50, was estimated in 2012 to be infected with herpes simplex virus 1.
87% of the population in Africa is estimated to have herpes simplex virus 1. In the Americas this percentage is between 40 and 50%.
The greatest risk of infection with herpes simplex virus 1 is when open or active sores are present.
Individuals with immune compromised health status, such as those with HIV, are at more risk for severe or frequent outbreaks.
Although there are medications that can help reduce the severity of symptoms there is no cure for herpes simplex virus 1.
Most cases of herpes simplex virus 2 are contracted through unprotected sex. However condoms do not protect all areas where genital herpes may appear.
Most people that have acquired herpes simplex virus 2 do not know that they have it, with only 20% or less reporting a prior diagnosis.
Symptoms of herpes simplex virus 2 include sores or ulcers in the genital region, as well as body aches, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
Once an outbreak of genital herpes has occurred, any subsequent outbreaks are usually less severe and they often decrease in frequency over time.
Herpes simplex virus 2 can be spread even when there are no obvious symptoms.
Herpes simplex virus 2 is one of the most common infections that people with HIV experience.
In the advanced stages of HIV herpes simplex virus 2 can cause rare but serious complications.
There is no cure for herpes simplex virus 2. There are medications that can help to decrease the severity of symptoms and the frequency of outbreaks.
There are two main genomes of herpes simplex virus 2. One is mostly limited to sub-Sahara Africa while the other is found all around the world.
There is a suspected link between herpes simplex virus 1 and Alzheimer's disease risk.
It is estimated that one out of four people in the United States between the ages of 14 and 49 have herpes simplex virus 2.
Minimizing the risk of contracting herpes simplex virus 2 involves being abstinent or being a long term relationship with someone who has clean STD results and practicing safe sex.

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