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Genital herpes is a disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), of which there are two types. Type one usually causes oral herpes, an infection of the lips and mouth. Symptoms are commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. In the past, HSV-1 was not known to cause genital herpes, but that is changing, especially among people who begin having sex at a young age. Still, in most cases, genital herpes is caused by the second type of herpes virus.

HSV-2 lives in the nerves. When it’s active, it travels to the surface of the infected area and makes copies of itself. This is called “shedding” because these new viruses can, at this time, rub off on another person. Then the virus travels back down the nerve to a ganglion, usually at the base of the spine, where it lies dormant for a while.

About twenty percent of all people aged twelve and up are infected with the HSV-2 virus that causes genital herpes, but many people don’t know it. More women than men are infected. One reason may be that the virus can infect a woman’s genitals more easily. Genital herpes is more common among blacks than it is among whites, and it becomes more common as people age. The more sex partners people have, the more common it is.

HSV-1 is usually passed from person to person by kissing. HSV-1 can spread from mouth to genitals during oral sex. If this happens, it becomes a case of genital herpes. HSV-2 is most often passed by vaginal sex and anal sex. But just as HSV-1 can infect genitals and cause genital herpes, HSV-2 can pass from one person’s genitals to another person’s mouth, resulting in oral herpes. HSV-2 can not survive long on a non-living surface, so there is no risk of getting it from a toilet seat or hot tub.

Most people who have genital herpes don’t know they’re infected, so ask whether he or she has had any other sexually transmitted disease. People with a history of STDs are more likely to have genital herpes. It may be awkward, but it’s important to be honest with each other. Your partner may be afraid to tell you the truth if he or she fears a negative reaction. If your partner feels comfortable talking with you, you’ll be more likely to get straight answers.

Someone who has had many sexual partners is more likely to be infected with the herpes virus. The fewer sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the less likely you are to be exposed to the herpes virus. If you think your partner is at high risk for genital herpes, you may consider asking him or her to be tested. In that case, you should be tested. Using a latex barrier during sex may protect you or your partner, but only if it covers the area where the virus is shedding.

If you know your partner has genital herpes, always abstain from sex when symptoms are present. Or, if you see a sore on someone’s genitals, don’t have sex with that person until you’re sure he or she doesn’t have genital herpes. Remember, not everyone with genital herpes has symptoms, and herpes sores can be very hard to spot. It’s important to know that HSV can be contagious even when no symptoms are visible.

The only way to be 100% certain you won’t get a sexually transmitted disease is to have just one sex partner who has no STDs and only if both of you stay monogamous for life. If you don’t want to be monogamous or totally celibate until you find a life partner, you could greatly reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease by doing things that don’t involve genital-genital contact or oral-genital contact, such as mutual masturbation.

Natural herpes treatment has a two-fold effect. The first is the direct action to destroy the virus upon application. The second effect is the systemic and powerful action to strengthen immune parameters, known as the immunostimulant effect. Comparative tests show that patients who used this treatment for herpes had increased levels of immunoglobulins after the test period.

With the change of spectrum of disease, holistic medicine grows up. Medical community recognizes that treatment should be stressed on overall view of the health; the starting point of treatment is to stimulate the self-healing ability; the lead of disease treatment is the patient himself or herself and the cure is nothing more than backer; as a result, various treatments should be applied.