Category Archives: Living with Herpes

Tips for living with herpes

Herpes and your baby

Herpes is an infection caused by a virus. If you have genital herpes, you can pass the infection to your baby during pregnancy, labour or birth. It’s not that common but yes, it happens. Some babies also get herpes from others after birth. If not treated, herpes can cause serious health problems, including deadly infection. Herpes affects about 1 in 3,500 babies in the USA every year.

How can babies get herpes?
Babies can get herpes in three ways:
1.Before birth (also called intrauterine herpes). Women can pass the virus to the baby in the uterus (also called the womb). This kind of herpes is rare.
2.During labour and birth (also called birth-acquired herpes). This usually happens when a baby passes through an infected vagina. It’s the most common way babies get infected with herpes.
3.After birth. Mother or another person can pass the virus to the baby after birth. For example, if an adult person has herpes sore on lip and kisses baby’s skin, the virus can be passed to the child.

How to recognise if the baby has herpes?
There are several symptoms which might indicate that baby has herpes:
Bleeding easily and all of sudden
Small and red sores or blisters on the skin
Fast breathing, short periods without breathing
Baby skin looks blue
Fatigue, feeling very tired or exhausted
White parts of baby’s eyes look yellow
Poor feeding and no appetite

If your baby has herpes that isn’t treated, he can go into shock. This means organs in his body don’t get enough blood flow. If not treated, shock can cause a baby to go into a coma and die.

Herpes viruses also can cause a number of health problems in newborns, including:

Brain infection
If the herpes infection spreads to the brain, it can be deadly.

Eye disease
This is inflammation of the retina. It might cause blindness.

Multiple organ infections
This is when the herpes infection spreads to and affects several internal organs, like the liver, lungs and kidneys. This might be deadly.

Skin, eye and mouth infection
Small, fluid-filled blisters can appear on the skin and around the eyes and mouth. Blisters will heal leaving small scars behind.

How are newborns treated when they have herpes?
Acyclovir (also called as Zovirax® Injection) is an antiviral medicine used to treat herpes infections in babies. Early treatment with acyclovir can stop the spread of the infection to the brain and other organs. Baby may need to take acyclovir for several weeks depending on herpes condition. Some babies need serious treatment in hospital.

How to keep your baby safe?
Tell your health care provider you have genital herpes. This is obvious but needs to be repeated several times since adults are likely to hide such fact an even upfront doctor. If you are pregnant you might need to have C-section instead of natural birth to protect child. You might need Acyclovir treatment during pregnancy when it’s close to birth date.

If you have a herpes sore, keep you baby away from it. Do not kiss your baby if you have an outbreak. If you have herpes sore on your breast nipple or areola (the dark area around the nipple), stop breastfeeding on that breast and use breast’s milk pump instead and feed the baby through a bottle.

Is it crucial to keep the baby away from herpes, since having STDs from the first moment of being born, might have a deep influence on adulthood.

Older people with herpes. How to make love life better?

There’s no age limitation when it comes to herpes. That sexual disease might affect both young and sexually free people same as older folks who are not that active anymore when it comes to sex adventures. Recent studies have shown that in the past years, the number of patients over 50 years old with herpes increased. It means that whenever your age is if you are sexually active, proper actions shall be done to avoid STDs.

There are few reasons why herpes is still an active topic among older people. Most of the guys over 50 years old and menopause thinks that using condoms, especially with the partners they know, is not a necessary thing. The truth is rather different since STDs has no limitations to be spread especially without protection. Another reason is the stereotype that herpes might occur only young and sexually free people, not an older person who is having sex few times in a year. Both statements are false, and it seems like young people and teens have much better knowledge in this field than older folks.

As the body gets older is getting harder to find out if the patient has herpes or not. For example, HIV virus can cause lack of memory and fatigue. Those are common symptoms for older people just because of their age. Herpes are hard to recognize for patients themselves because they think blisters or problems with memory are natural due to age. Mostly, such symptoms are just ignored by patients and their families and eventually, they find out to have herpes years later when it’s literally too late to get any medical and professional help. This is the reason why older people shall be educated about STDs as well. They have some stigma that herpes can be a problem among young people only.

There’s still a chance for herpes patients if they find out this disease on a proper timing. Doctor’s consultation and proper medical treatment can make a life quality higher, without problems, pain and shame. However, it’s good to mention that once an older person starts herpes treatment, she or he needs to continue this till rest of life. If a patient is really mature, it’s good to keep in touch with close family and remind them about taking pills on a regular basis.

Patients can make their love life better if they keep proper precautions and stay away from sexual activity while sores outbreaks. What’s more unprotected sex is a big no. Doesn’t matter if a person is infected or having sex with someone who might be, a condom is a must in this case. Older people have a tendency not to use condoms because there’s no risk of pregnancy. However, there’s still a risk of herpes as long as you keep sexual activity. Being honest, loving yourself and keep talking openly with a partner are another good remedies to deal with STDs. There’s no shame for having herpes because it might happen to anyone, no matter of age, gender, and religion.

Having herpes as an older person might be more challenging because more precautions need to be made to increase life’s quality. As soon as STDs are being discovered in particular patient’s case, then the chance for having satisfaction love life is better. Older people need to be educated about herpes and there shouldn’t be any excuse for that.

Four Things to Keep in Mind When Teaching Children about Herpes

As difficult as it may be to teach children about STDs like herpes, it is best to teach them about these things at an early age. The appropriate age may vary depending on the maturity of the child, but usually it will fall somewhere between their ninth and 11th year. By teaching a child about the issues associated with herpes before they start teen dating, you may be able to help minimize the risk that they will become infected at a later point in time. Here are four tips on how to educate children about herpes.

#1 It’s important to remember these are children, so be gentle with them. You don’t have to be overly graphic to get your point across, but you do have to be honest with them. Explain it to them in terms of they can understand, and don’t try to scare them too much. Emphasize to them that having herpes doesn’t make someone a bad person or someone they should be scared of, but it does mean you have to be more careful about skin to skin contact. You want to educate the child – you don’t want to give them nightmares.

#2 Always explain things in terms that they’ll understand. If you’re not sure how to do this consult with a professional before teaching your child about herpes. Chances are they can provide you with materials that guide you through the process. After all, they’ve had to deal with these types of situations a lot more than you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and reach out to someone that has knowledge you don’t have yourself. You want your child to be armed with accurate information, so if you’re not sure of something do your homework rather than providing them with misinformation.

#3 Keep in mind that if you don’t have the conversation with your child about STDs, they’re going to find the information somewhere else. They’ll find out about herpes by talking to a friend, or by watching a movie or TV show. The problem with this is that these can often be uneducated sources of information. If you take control of the situation your child will be much better informed, and if they ever do have the misfortune of becoming infected with herpes they’ll be better able to deal with it.

#4 If you know your child is getting to an age where they’re going to start to ask questions make sure you educate yourself first. Chances are you may never have been told about herpes as a child yourself, so you’re not sure how it should be approached with a child. There’s a lot of information available to you either through medical professionals, health clinics, or reputable sites online. Take advantage of other people’s knowledge so that you’re ready when the time comes. As we’ve suggested above the right time to speak to a child won’t to be the same for everybody. Be aware of the signs your child is starting to be curious, and when they start to ask questions be open and honest with them.

Teaching a child about STDs such as herpes is difficult. You have to treat them gently, but you should be honest with them. Provide them with the information they need so that when they reach their teenage years they’ll be better able to deal with these types of things. You should never ignore the situation, but instead tackle it head-on.

Also read: STD Month: Listen or Lose

What kind of herpes infection is cause by HSV – 1?

An infection caused by the herpes simplex virus – 1 leads to oral herpes. According to statistics, this is one of the most common STDs in the United States, affecting about 50 percent of the adult population. Herpes is known to be an asymptomatic condition that barely shows any symptoms. This is exactly why people tend to spread herpes unknowingly.

Incubation Period

The time between contact of the virus and the appearance of the initial symptoms in case of the HSV – 1 virus usually ranges between 2 and 12 days. However, HSV is a kind of virus that may not show any symptoms for several months.

Duration of illness

The herpes simplex virus usually shows its presence in the body in the form of outbreaks that last two or three weeks, and differ from one individual to another. The symptoms are accompanied with fever, tiredness, muscle ache and irritability.

Infected individuals may also experience a burning sensation, tingling, or itching prior to the appearance of sores and blisters. These clusters of painful blisters ooze with a yellow fluid that later develops into a yellowish crust.

Another symptom associated with the HSV – 1 are oral sores. These occur at the onset of the virus and can make drinking or eating very difficult. The sores may occur on lips, gums, and throat or on sides of the cheeks. You may experience swollen gums that may bleed too.

Getting diagnosed with HSV – 1

Based on the information provided, the healthcare provider would suggest a physical examination. HSV – 1 is associated with a characteristic appearance that leaves little doubt about the diagnosis. It is this appearance that helps in distinguishing oral herpes from oral thrush, gonorrhea and syphilis, among others. The doctor may conduct any one of the below mentioned testes:

·A tissue or liquid sample from the sores to identify the variant of herpes.
·A viral culture analysis.
·Antigen and antibody studies. A PCR test that can be employed to differentiate between HSV – 1 and HSV – 2.

Risk Factors

Everyone is at the risk of contracting herpes. Unfortunately, a lot of children aged 6 months to 3 years are at the risk of coming in contact with the herpes simplex virus simply by coming in contact with humans. As a result, 60 percent of individuals in the age bracket of 14 – 49 end up carrying the herpes virus.


It is worth mentioning that there is no cure for herpes. A topical anesthetic such as Dilocaine and Nervocaine can be effective in reliving the pain caused as a result of symptoms of the virus. People with a weakened immune system are advised to take oral or IV medication.

Oral herpes or cold sores – what are you living with?

Herpes, a sexually transmitted infection cause by the herpes simplex virus affects 1 in 5 persons in the United States. With no cure in sight, once you’re affected with the virus, you have it forever. However, there are multitudinous ways by which you can control the frequency and severity of the outbreaks.

Oral Herpes

According to official figures, more than 50 percent of the American adult population is living with oral herpes, a sexually transmitted infection that is incurable. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus – 1, popularly termed HSV – 1. While it has been claimed that HSV – 1 is transmitted through oral sex, most people get it on coming in physical contact with the virus, such as in the event of getting a kiss from a friend or relative.

The condition is also referred to as “cold sores” or “fever blisters”. The symptoms associated with this variant of herpes usually appear around or on the lips but it isn’t limited to this area. Some people have also experienced such symptoms inside the nose. It is due to such instances that oral herpes has been renamed as oral – facial herpes. HSV – 1 is asymptomatic in nature, which means the virus has the tendency of spreading even when there are no visible symptoms. This is referred to as viral shedding, asymptomatic shedding or asymptomatic reactivation.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are little blisters that appear on the surface of the skin, caused as a result of infection by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores are painful and usually clear up without treatment in about a week to 10 days. People affected with the herpes simplex virus may or may not experience any major symptoms. However, it is worth mentioning that the individual is still prone to spreading the infection even when there are no visible symptoms.

What cause them to happen? Cold sores occur due to a specific strain of the herpes simplex virus known as the HSV – 1. In some cases, cold sores may also happen as a result of infection cause due to the HSV – 2 strain of the virus. Having oral sex with someone already living with genital herpes may make you prone to this condition.

Who is more likely to get herpes?

Persons who are sexually active are likely to get oral herpes or cold sores. Given the fact that body fluids such as semen or vaginal liquids aren’t the only cause behind the spread of the virus, contacting herpes is fairly easy. It is always advised to get tasted for the virus, especially when you have multiple partners or you’re experience some symptoms associated with the condition as mentioned above.