Friday, September 7, 2012

Can You Transmit Herpes to Other Parts of Your Body?

When it comes to herpes everyone is scared of it. A lot of people think as if herpes is a life threatening infection. In reality, most people mange this infection without any complication. We have heard a lot of concerns about transmitting herpes to other people as well as to other parts of your body. This article is focused on the possibility of transmitting herpes infection to other parts of your body.

As we are aware of the fact that herpes is highly contagious during an outbreak and can be transmitted from one person to others very easily. This is one of the reasons why herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease. The risk of transmitting herpes to other people is always high during an outbreak, but the risk of transmitting this infection to other body parts may vary. Yes, it is possible to transmit herpes infection to other body parts such as hand, eye, or genitalia, but this is not very common. Furthermore, this kind of transmission is usually seen during a primary outbreak because overtime your body develops antibodies that in most cases prevent transmitting infection to other body parts. Thus, it is strongly recommended to follow the standard guidelines for the prevention of herpes transmission during an outbreak.

In conclusion, I would like to say that even though the possibility of transmitting herpes to other body parts is significantly low after subsequent outbreaks, it is better to follow those standard preventive measures all the time. This is particularly important because the protection against autoinfection (transmitting infection to other body parts) is not 100%; most people are protected but small number of people may not develop enough antibodies.

You can read more about herpes from our previous post:

Tracing the Source of Herpes Infection?
Is Canker Sore a Herpes Symptom?
HSV type1: Can You Get It In Genitalia?
Are you scared of herpes? A potential cure.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Herpes Zoster Without Rahses: Is It Possible?

Let me start by giving you a short background information about Herpes Zoster. Even though it shares the name "herpes", but it is not a sexually transmitted disease. The common name for Herpes Zoster is Shingles and is caused by a virus Varicella Zoster. It is the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. After recovering from chicken pox, the virus remains in the body near nerve tissue in an inactive form, which reactive years later as Shingles. Therefore, Shingles only affect those people who had chicken pox in their childhood whereas all those without any history of chicken pox never develop Shingles.

Most commonly Shingles presents with pain, itching, burning, or tingling in a small section of one side of your body. Red rashes and fluid filled blisters develop a few days after pain. However, everyone does not experience same set of symptoms, small number of people may get shingles attack without any skin lesions. In those patients intense pain, tingling, and burning are the main features affecting one side of the body. I must say that Shingles without any rashes is not very common but quite possible.

As far as diagnosis is concerned, most physician confirm the diagnosis of Shingles after a physical examination, but in the doubtful cases blood test and/or scrapping/culture can be done. Anti-viral medications such as Acyclovir or Valacyclovir are very effective in reducing the severity and duration of Shingles if taken within 72 hours of the onset of rashes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

HIV Risk After Broken Condom

This article is in response to a question that we received last week.
Condom is known to provide protective barrier against STDs; however it does not guarantee 100 % in every situation. Many experts believe that condom acts as a barrier that prevent sharing of blood, semen or vaginal fluid, as a result it reduces the risk of HIV transmission.

Above statements are true for idea situation, but in cases like improper use or broken condoms cause a lot of stress and fear. Broken condom is one of the situations that puts you at risk of  HIV transmission. But, many people want to know " is it the same risk as if not using condom?". For this kind of question, there is no straight answer because the risk depends upon several factors such as duration of sexual act after broken condom, type of sexual activity, and HIV status of partner. The general principle is that longer the exposure higher the risk, so if your condom was broken and unrecognized immediately then the risk of HIV would be same as if you were not wearing a condom. There is nothing to panic because it is not mandatory to get HIV after single sexual exposure. As per the research data risk of HIV transmission after single exposure from unknown partner is very low. You will be surprised to know that the risk of HIV transmission from HIV positive partner with broken condom is 5 out of 10,000 per exposure. This data looks pretty attractive, but once you look into details it was calculated as per exposure, so having multiple exposure or multiple sexual partner would certainly increase the transmission risk.

Being said that; it is also very important to go for HIV testing at 6, 12, and 24 weeks after an exposure to make sure that you do not have HIV infection. Although condom is very protective, but make sure to pull out immediately and clean the area properly which may reduce HIV risk.