Any person who is sexually active can get genital herpes. It is a common condition. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that one in six people in the US who are aged between 14 to 49 years has genital herpes.
Many people with genital herpes are not aware that they have it as they never develop symptoms. This makes genital herpes easy to spread to others.
It is easy to get infected, but some people are at a higher risk of developing genital herpes. Women are more susceptible to get infected during sex.
Individuals with many sexual partners are also at a higher risk of getting genital herpes. A person with a weakened immune system is also at a higher risk.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides cutting-edge skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.
Genital Herpes and HIV
The immune system may weaken due to diseases such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). In case a person has HIV and contracts genital herpes, they can develop serious issues. HIV-positive people who feel that they may have genital herpes should consult their dermatology care provider.
What causes Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes occurs due to the herpes simplex virus.
In general, this virus spreads during sex. A person can contract this condition by engaging in anal, oral, or vaginal sex with an individual who has genital herpes. In one sexual partner has a cold sore and performs oral sex on the other, the other partner could get genital herpes as well.
The virus that causes genital herpes resides in genital fluids and herpes sores. The virus travels to the nerves when the sores clear, and remains dormant. Upon being triggered, it travels back to the genitals or skin. Some common triggers that can wake up the virus are fatigue, stress, and surgery.
The virus may not cause any sores or symptoms when on the surface of the skin (or genitals). Irrespective of the fact that nothing is seen on the surface of the skin (or genitals), a virus on the surface of the skin (or genitals) could be shedding some cells.
For this reason, people with genital herpes should always wear a condom during sex if their partner does not have genital herpes.
A person’s risk of contracting genital herpes may be higher if they:
- Are a woman. The likelihood of women contracting genital herpes is higher than in men. The virus is sexually transmitted more readily from males to females rather than vice versa.
- Having multiple sexual partners. Every additional sexual partner increases a person’s risk of being exposed to the virus that causes genital herpes.
The recommendations for preventing genital herpes are the same as those for preventing other STDs — abstinence from sexual activity or restricting sexual contact to an only one-infection free person. To prevent being, a person can also.
- Use, or ask the sexual partner to use a latex condom during every sexual encounter.
- Avoid intercourse if either partner is experiencing a herpes outbreak in the genital area or other areas of the body.
Dr. Ewanowski’s dermatology practice and medical spa receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for safe and proven skin care procedures.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.