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Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease, which is treatable, but incurable with medications. It is caused by a herpes virus and is passed from one person to another by direct contact and presents as painful inflamed blisters on the genitals or skin. The blisters are normally preceded by a tingling or itching sensation and generally last a few weeks at a time then regress until the immune system is compromised and the rash reappears. The main complaint is due to the pain caused by the blisters which impacts on lovemaking, causing emotional stress that in turn exacerbates the disease. A person with a good immune system can sometimes cure the infection, and antivirals can reduce the time span and symptoms of the disease. Maintaining a positive outlook and keeping healthy is a good way of preventing outbreaks. There is no vaccine or curable medication as yet. More importantly, preventing transmission of the disease is simple with using a condom and avoiding intercourse when the blisters are present, as this is the most infectious stage of the disease, although people can still be infectious before any blisters appear. Herpes can be confused with syphilis, but syphilis presents with painless sores and has far graver consequences if not treated. Herpes during pregnancy is also a concern regarding transmission to the baby if the disease is active at the time of delivery, in which case caesarean sections are recommended.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Mother Earth News
About: Genital herpes facts
Date: March/April 1981
Source: The Mother Earth News
Author: Rom Ferguson
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