Author Archives: Melanie

Stem Cells Docu-Series Episodes Guide July 31st – August 9th

Here are the Episodes about Stem Cells in “The Healing Miracle” Docu-Series:
==> http://melanieaddington.com/stemcells.html <==

Episode 1: The Politics of Stem Cells
AIRING — TUE. 7/31 – WED. 8/1

Episode 2: An Optimistic Prognosis
AIRING — WED. 8/1 – THU. 8/2

Episode 3: Choosing a Gentler Alternative
AIRING — THU. 8/2 – FRI. 8/3

Episode 4: It Makes Such A Difference
AIRING — FRI. 8/3 – SAT. 8/4

Episode 5: Stem Cell Therapy is Changing Lives
AIRING — SAT. 8/4 – SUN. 8/5

Episode 6: The Basics of Stem Cell Therapy
AIRING — SUN. 8/5 – MON. 8/6

Episode 7: Success Stories
AIRING — MON. 8/6 – TUE. 8/7

Episode 8: The Research is Moving Forward
AIRING — TUE. 8/7 – WED. 8/8

Episode 9: About the Patient Perspective
AIRING — WED. 8/8 – THU. 8/9

Will You Get Infected with Genital Herpes?

Genital Herpes- what is it?

Genital Herpes is the herpes infection of genitals. It affects both men and women. It is caused by the HSV type2. The only way to spread this disease is sexual contact. Anybody who has genital herpes may pass it on to the partner without any knowledge. Let us see how?

Genital Herpes- silent transmission

Let us take an example. Suppose your partner contacted genital herpes from someone during a sexual encounter. The virus entered your partner’s body. The virus will show anytime within 20 days of getting contacted. The symptoms may be sores and blisters, fever, joint ache etc. Here comes the problem. Many times these symptoms are so insignificant that no body realizes about them. The symptoms will resolve after some days. Now your partner is a silent carrier of Genital herpes. He/she may be unaware that they are carriers. During this time, if you have sexual contact with them, you will catch the virus.

Genital Herpes- Treatment

Whenever herpes symptoms get noticed, the doctors treat them with anti-viral medicines. The problem of rashes and blisters gets resolved. But the virus does not get out of the body. It remains inside. It can cause active herpes sores again in future. Some people may not get any recurrence, while some may get many.

Genital Herpes- Prevention

Condoms are one way to prevent herpes. If any body part that is not covered by condom and is carrying active virus comes in contact with you, you will sill get it. To know if anybody is a silent carrier of herpes, blood test can be carried out by the doctor for herpes antibodies.

And the one preventative measure that no one really likes to talk about is: ABSTINENCE. This is the best way to protect yourself from contracting Genital Herpes.

Genital Herpes – How Prevalent Is It And What Should You Do?

Genital herpes is a topic not readily discussed in the course of normal conversation however, if you’re aged 25 and over, and are sexually active with multiple partners then it would be wise to be tested for genital herpes.

A recent study in Australia ( May 2006 ) revealed at least one in eight people people in that country have genital herpes. If that sounds alarming then it should be. A first nation-wide study also found herpes was most prevalent in people aged 35 to 44 and city folk were more likely to be carrying the virus than their “country cousins.”

So what to do? Being a little less promiscuous could be the answer but this would only be a superficial fix. The problem lies in the fact that at least 80 per cent of people who have genital herpes don’t know they have it. And it’s fair to say those who contract the virus do so innocently. Affected people who pass it on and are unaware they have it, don’t experience the symptoms. The obvious answer once again is to get tested especially if you’ve had multiple partners.

Why are people reluctant to be tested? Is there are kind of aura of shame with knowing you have genital herpes? Medical experts will tell you not to be embarrassed; the sooner you have the condition treated the better. Makes sense right? So why don’t people get tested or why do they delay the process?

The news is not so good for women. Twice as many women are likely to contract genital herpes than men simply because of their physiological make up. This doesn’t suggest men have less responsibility in getting tested than women. It’s a two-way street.

The study found the prevalence of herpes varies from country to country with genital herpes more prevalent in some while oral herpes was confirmed at a higher rate in others.

Get over any short time embarrassment you may experience initially and do the sensible thing; not just if you have multiple partners, even if you’re not sure and just know that something’s not quite right with your body (especially in the genital area) Get Tested Now!

Discover Herpes Dating Sites

Large scale general dating sites were the first to reach the internet, gaining a lot of popularity. Once these dating sites had saturated the online dating market, the next step was to create dating sites that focused on specific niche audiences. Herpes dating sites are one example of these specialized niche dating sites, catering to specific people that have something common amongst them.

People who have herpes may feel uncomfortable looking for friends and potential mates on general dating sites, because admitting that they are suffering from a sexually transmitted infection is not always easy. However, by signing up for herpes dating sites rather than general dating sites, these people can feel more comfortable with the dating scene.

Herpes dating sites are designed to cater to people with Herpes. When two people suffering from Herpes date, it is obviously much safer as there is no worry about transmitting anything from one person to another.

Not only do herpes dating sites exist to provide an avenue for dating for people who have herpes, but they also tend to provide a wealth of information relating to health and wellness and other topics of concern for people who use the site. Some Herpes dating sites, like MPWH (Meet People with Herpes) have as many as 68,000 subscribers, meaning that there is a real community out there that you can become a part of.

In addition to dating resources, herpes dating sites like the above also offer information on:

-diet information
-helpful advice
-about how gentile herpes affects men and women differently
-mistaken conditions and properly diagnosing herpes
-scientific and statistical information about herpes
-prognosis of disease
-prevention
-symptoms
-outbreaks
-safe sex / transmission
-and a great deal more

The focus of these herpes dating sites is to create a true community for people who are dealing with herpes, rather than making them feel left out in the dating scene.

Having herpes is not the end of the world for anyone, and herpes dating sites online are beginning to prove this. By creating communities where people with herpes are welcome to come together and talk, chat, get to know each other and even go on dates together. Niche dating sites like these, herpes dating sites, are an excellent example of how dating sites can capitalize on choosing and focusing on one single niche rather than trying to please an entire community.

When likeminded or similar people can come together and have a good dating experience through the internet that is when you know that a particular dating site has been successful. Herpes dating sites are no exception, as they give people suffering from gentile herpes a place to feel comfortable sharing themselves and getting to know other people that are compatible with them. Not only are these herpes dating sites places where people can connect, but they also serve as support groups and communities where information can be shared and found.

Attacking the Deadly Herpes Virus with Acyclovir

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are thousands of Americans who are infected with one of the most active virus known to man — the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Scientists have been studying how the virus works because it is among the most difficult to control. The virus has spread to different countries around the world. It causes a variety of illnesses, including mucocutaneous infections. or herpes simplex virus (HSV), is one of the most common agents infecting humans of all ages.

There are two types of Herpes virus, namely: Type 1 Herpes which is carried by over 80 per cent of the population and is the culprit behind recurrent cold sores; and Type 2 Herpes which affects five to 20 per cent of the population. This type is often associated with genital herpes.

Studies show that genital herpes simplex virus infects more than 1 of 5 adolescents and adults. It is more common in blacks than in whites, and more likely to infect women than men. Most people with genital herpes don’t know they have it, and are unaware that they are spreading it to others. Many have no symptoms or mistake their symptoms for something else such as jock itch, insect bites, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, razor burn, or allergies to laundry detergent.

Infection in the genital region initially produces a painful, red, ulcerating crop of lesions that can spread over a wide area and may involve the perineum and anus. Genital infection can also be associated with temporary numbness in the affected area, swelling glands in the groin, difficulty passing urine, and fever. Occasionally, primary infections such as these can also trigger viral meningitis.

Some years ago, genital herpes was diagnosed solely by visual inspection and laboratory culture of an active sore. Today, herpes may be diagnosed with a blood test, even when no symptoms are apparent or after sores have healed. Antiviral drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in reducing the infection.

There is no cure for any herpes viruses. Once a person caught a herpes virus it stays in the body for life although it is latent most of the time. However, a medication that can treat the outbreaks and symptoms of herpes as well as reduce future outbreaks is available.

Acyclovir is a drug used for the treatment of several conditions including herpes infections. Acyclovir medication is available over the counter and commonly known under the brand name Zovirax. Acyclovir medication Zovirax is usually used for the treatment of facial cold sores.

Acyclovir ointment is used topically to treat initial genital herpes where it has been shown to decrease pain, reduce healing time, and limit the spread of the infection. Acyclovir is also available as a prescription tablet used to treat genital herpes infections and to treat patients with recurrent severe genital herpes. The dosage will be determined by the doctor. It is very common to prescribe a 5-day course of 3 tablets a day taken with 4 hour intervals, but this may vary. It is very important not to miss any doses because the patient needs to keep the level of Acyclovir up in their body. This episodic treatment will reduce the severity, frequency and duration of the outbreak as well as reduce future outbreaks and reduce the risk of spreading. Acyclovir can also be used to treat chicken pox and acts to reduce the healing time, limit the number of lesions, and reduce fever if used within the first 24 hours after the onset of the disease.

However, before starting to take this medicine, it is vital for a person with herpes to consult a doctor. Most anti-viral medications should not be used without medical advice or doctor’s prescription.

Are You Going to Get The Herpes Simplex Virus?

What the Heck is Herpes Simplex?

Herpes simplex is a skin problem that is caused by a virus. The virus can be of two types- virus type1 and virus type2. With virus type1, you will get herpes mainly on your face. With virus type2, you will get herpes mainly on your genitals. Those who are sexually active may be unknowingly passing this disease to you and you definitely don’t want this!

Herpes Simplex Types

Let us talk more about virus type2. It causes sores, muscle aches, fevers and difficult urinations. The problem is this. Those who have herpes go in to dormant mode after getting treated. That means that their body will give no outward sign that they have herpes. If you get into relation with them, the virus will most probably will be passed on to you. Now you are a carrier of herpes for life. You will never get cured. You may have herpes outbreaks anytime on your genitals and that will be very painful. It will take about two weeks to get it cleared. After that the virus may cause active herpes anytime in future.

Protection From Herpes Simplex

If your partner has dormant herpes simplex and does not tell you herself/himself, you will most probably get it. The best way out is to enquire with your partner if he/she has had any episodes of Herpes virus type2. Even if they had an outbreak in the childhood of herpes virus type1, please find out. That will also form active blisters on your face mainly lips and be with you for life.

Ayurveda Approach to Genital Herpes

Let’s take a closer look at the Ayurveda approach to Genital Herpes…

According to ayurveda three doshas or three energetic forces control the activities of the body. These doshas are
1.Vata
2.Pitta
3.Kapha

VATA: The Vata dosha is the most important of the three doshas. It has been said in ayurveda classic books that pitta, Kapha and all other body tissues are considered lame without assistance of VATA . Vata dominates the lower part of the body, which is below umbilicus. The movements of body fluid, metabolism, elimination of waste products, semen ejaculation, pushing the fetus out of body, relaying stimulus to brain and response to organs and tissues, heart beat, respiration, body movements etc are assisted by VATA.

Vata dominated regions are intestines, lumbar region, ears, bones and skin.

Vata gets vitiated due to following reasons.
1.Controlling natural urges like urination, defecation, hunger, thirst, etc.
2.Late nights.
3.Irregular food habits.
4.Talking in a high pitch.
5.Over physical and mental exertion.
6.Consumption of spicy, dry, bitter foods.
7.Exposure to severe dry and cold climate.

The opposites of above-mentioned reason normalize the vitiated vata.

PITTA: The pitta dosha assists the body fire or Agni, which plays a major role in bodys metabolic activities. The locations where pitta dominates are digestive system, skin, eyes, brain, and blood. Pitta maintains body temperature. The secretions like digestive juices pigments like melanin (bhrajaka pitta), hemoglobin (ranjaka pitta) are all types of pitta.

Pitta is dominant in regions of Umbilicus, stomach, sweat, lymph, blood, eyes and skin.

Vata gets vitiated due to following reasons.
1.Excess consumption of spicy, sour, salty foods.
2.Consuming alcohol in excess.
3.Over exposure to hot sunny climate.
4.Short temperedness.
5.Using dried vegetables.
6.Indigestion of food.

The opposites of above-mentioned reason normalize the vitiated pitta.

KAPHA: Kapha provides bulk to body, lubrications, moistness, fertility, stability, strength, and memory. Helps in binding process wherever necessary. This is heaviest of all doshas.

Kapha dominated regions are chest, neck, head, stomach, body fat, nose and tongue

Kapha gets vitiated due to following reasons.
1.Sleeping in daytime.
2.Consuming sweets , chilled food, in excess.
3.Consuming fish, sesame, sugarcane, milk and milk products.

The opposites of above-mentioned reason normalize the vitiated kapha.

When these doshas are in balanced condition the body remains healthy. If these doshas get imbalanced the body succumbs to diseases. Doshas get imbalanced frequently due to change in climate, seasons, lifestyles, diet etc. The treatment is to bring back the doshas to normalcy and expel the toxin or ama produced during the imbalanced condition.

Causes of Genital Herpes
Herpes is caused by a virus the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which belongs to the same family of viruses that cause chickenpox. There are two types of herpes simplex viruses
1.Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and mostly causes oral herpes
2.Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2). And mostly causes genital herpes
However, both type-1 and type-2 can occur in the genitals, oral area or both.
Due to unhealthy life styles and diet the delicate balance between doshas get disturbed. This disturbs the body fire or Agni.
(Agni is the body fire, which is responsible for transformation of one substance to another. It breaks down the food substances, eliminates toxins and wastes, maintains body temperature, and resists the invasion of microbes by maintaining strong body immunity.
The body fire, which is assisted by balanced doshas, digests the food completely to form Pakwa Anna rasa (the liquid form of food which is completely digested by digestive enzymes), which is ready to get absorbed by body tissues. According to ayurveda Pakwa Anna Rasa nourishes the body and its components to keep the body devoid of diseases. But when body fire is impaired there will be an incomplete digestion of food forming Apakwa Rasa (indigested food). The indigested food fails to nourish the body components leading to lowered body resistance.)

The disturbed Agni fails to digest the food and toxins get accumulated in body due to improper metabolism. Accumulation of toxins reduces the body immunity and paves the way for invasion by microbes.
When a person who has low immunity comes in contact with HSV virus, he/she gets the genital or oral herpes.
Unhealthy lifestyle
1.Over eating
2.Sleeping in afternoons.
3.Over physical exertion.
4.Over mental exertion
5.Consuming food frequently even when not hungry.
6.Constant exposure to hot sunny climates
Unhealthy diet
Excessive consumption of
1. Salty, sour, hot, spicy food.
2.Sour curds
3.Alcohol.
4.Cheese
5.Charred and overcooked food.
6.Sesame, Bengal gram, horse gram, sesame oil, rice flour, garlic, fish.
Opposite foods
1.Curds, salt, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, sour fruits, meat, prawn, pork, should not be consumed with milk. The above-mentioned foods should not be consumed by mixing one item with another.
2.Sprouts, honey and milk should not be consumed with meat and fish.
3.Fish & milk: fish &sugarcane juice; jaggery & pork; honey & pork; milk & mango; banana & milk; are opposite foods.
The Transmission Of genital Herpes
A person can get genital herpes in following conditions
1.If he is sexual active and when he performs sex (oral or genital) with infected partners.
2.A person who has oral herpes transmits herpes to genital organs of a partner during oral sex and a person who has genital herpes transmits this to his partner during coitus when they have a genital contact.
3.The disease gets transmitted when mucous membrane comes in contact with infected area.
The disease gets transmitted mostly during active phase. But it may spread even during asymptomatic (when person is free of symptoms for a particular duration) phase. The virus needs a fluid media for its transportation. The body fluids like saliva, semen, vaginal tract secretions etc. Mucous membranes in mouth, vagina, urethra or open wounds facilitate the virus invasion due to their moistness.
In Genital herpes there is an imbalance of all three doshas (VATA, PITTA, KAPHA), which in turn vitiate lasika (lymph), blood (rakta), muscle (mamsa) and skin (twacha).
The imbalanced doshas vitiate skin and the immunity of skin cells is lowered. The virus attacks these weak cells and starts exhibiting symptoms on affected area.
Local symptoms
1.Pricking sensation
2.Edema
3.Pain
4.Feeling of constriction
5.A sensation of ant creeping
6.Many small eruptions gathering in a small area.
7.These eruptions or blisters burst soon with exudates.
8.These blisters will have different colors according to involvement of doshas. (Blackish red or blue in vata, red, yellow, copper colored in pitta, shades of white in kapha).

The weakened body immune system tries to resist the virus invasion but fails to achieve the goal. In this futile attempt the following systemic symptoms are exhibited.

Systemic symptoms
1.Fever
2.Weakness
3.Indigestion
4.Impaired bowels
5.Increased frequency of urination.
6.Body pain.
7.Increased thirst.

Imbalanced vata causes the symptoms like pain, swelling and body ache

The imbalanced pitta and vitiated blood and skin cause
1.Blisters,
2.Change the color of skin,
3.Cause burning sensation, and fever.

The imbalanced kapha and vitiated lymph cause itching, tingling sensation.

After the first attack the virus moves from skin through the nerve paths to base of the nerve and becomes inactive. Now the herpes infected person will be devoid of all symptoms. But the imbalance of doshas still persists.
Reactivation of Virus to cause outbreaks
At unpredictable times, the virus becomes active. It multiplies and resurfaces on skin by traveling through the nerve path and exhibits the symptoms locally. The severity of symptoms of out break depends on the strength of body immunity.
The pelvis or shroni, nerves and skin are dominated by vata. When vata gets vitiated due to precipitating factors, it reactivates the virus dormant in base of nerve end and the virus travel through nerve paths to reach the skin surface.
Precipitating Factors
As we know the outbreaks have few precipitating factors like
1.Excessive exposure to sun.
2.Illness,
3.Poor diet,
4.Emotional stress
5.Physical stress,
6.Friction,
7.Steroids
8.Menstruation.
9.Emotional stress.
10.Genital trauma and intercourse.
11.Repeated infections such as a cold or pneumonia.
These factors increase vata and increased vata activates the virus, which is dormant.
Low Immunity The systemically imbalanced doshas interfere with the body metabolism by vitiating the body fire (agni). This leads to indigestion and malassimilation of nutrients, which in turn causes poor immunity. Due to decreased immunity the body fails to offer resistance to outbreaks.

Ayurveda Tips to avoid outbreaks

Avoid
1.Spicy, sour, fried and junk food, which aggravates vata.
2.Precipitating factors.
3.Sleeping in afternoon.
4.Meat products over fried or deep fried in oil or fat.
5. Charred and overcooked food.
6. Consuming opposite food like fish and milk etc
7. Physical exertion after a meal
8. Taking bath immediately after exercise or heavy outdoor work.

Include honey, pomegranate, and fruits of Emblica officinalis, legumes, dates and raisins in your diet.
Practice Yoga and Meditation to control emotional disturbances
Ayurveda References
1. Sushruta Samhita
2.Charaka Samhita
3.Madhava nidana
4.Ashtanga Sangraha
5.Yoga Ratnakara

Using Essential Oils Successfully With The Herpes Virus

Using Essential Oils Successfully With The Herpes Virus – A Personal Account

Aromatherapy Oils and the Herpes Virus – One Person’s Success Story

The Herpes Simplex virus (or HSV) is a difficult disease. It is widely known as incurable, with painful skin lesions on sensitive areas of the body. The lesions reccur more often for some people than others – their ‘outbreaks’ tend to be related to periods of high-stress. Modern medicine does not offer a cure, though there are pharmaceutical preparations available to limit the frequency and duration of HSV outbreaks. With a reputation as ‘incurable’, ‘painful’, ‘not-so-pretty’, and varieties described as ‘oral and labial’ or ‘genital’, the disease can be a little challenging and embarrasing to say the least.

Well, I’ve been through this. I’ve had the painful lesions, had to deal with the regular outbreaks of painful cold-sores in my mouth and on my lips (I was blessed with the ‘oral’ variety). I’ve been through those great internal debates on how to break the news to a partner (thankfully always returning that look that says something like ‘Oh! I thought you were going to tell me my cat just died…that’s no big deal’). Though it still seemed like a big deal. Regularly having those few days of feeling like a flu was coming on, followed by a few days of outbreak – at what always seemed like the worst of times. On top of it, being an athlete, training really hard tended to cause outbreaks as well – weightlifting in particular. Maybe it was just really strenuous, or maybe I wasn’t actually a ‘weightlifter’ – but that heavy lifting would almost always lead, once again, to an outbreak.

I frequently wondered in the midst of these bouts with HSV if this was something I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life – I tried doctor prescribed medicines, Lysine and other remedies, but none kept the virus at bay enough to really make a difference.

Then someone introduced me to essential oils, and I learned a little about their studied antiviral activity. I stumbled onto research performed with a certain oil known as Melissa. Melissa essential oil is distilled from Melissa herb, a plant with a long history in natural medicine. The plant yields a relatively small amount of oil compared to other aromatic varieties, so it’s cost seems a little high. But formal investigation has been being going on in Europe for many years applying the oil to herpes lesions, with very promising results. One company has even extracted a component of the oil and sold it in a prescription form (though I have not read of any evidence showing the extract works better than the oil itself).

The most encouraging statement regarding the use of Melissa on herpes was made by Dr. Dietrich Wabner, a professor at the University of Munich: he stated that a single application of Melissa may lead to a complete remission of the disease. A possible cure! I’d figured I had nothing to lose, so I tried a little bottle of the oil.

Searching further, I found a regimine for the oils’ use. Melissa might not lead to a complete remission in just one application – other healers were finding success when the oil was applied to the affected area when an outbreak felt ‘imminent’. The oil was applied perhaps three times per day during the outbreak; this was repeated the next several times the user thought an outbreak may be coming on, and through the duration of the skin healing. My outbreaks were usually on my tongue at that point (though they started on the palate of my mouth). I would get a very fatigued feeling for a few days, then my tongue would get what seemed like individual taste buds that would feel as though they were burnt (and yes, I have had medical confirmation as to their cause). I also had lesions on my lip, but not as often. So I began the Melissa oil program – just one drop in my mouth a few times a day – and thankfully I actually liked the taste!

Well, perhaps the single dose worked for some folks, but I wasn’t quite so fortunate – though I was certainly not discouraged. The history of Melissa and it’s healing powers was renoun, and I kept up with the program. Despite continuing to have outbreaks, they were shorter, and they seemed to occur less frequently. And after a while, it dawned on me – the outbreaks had stopped completely! And believe me, my life has been no less stressful – more so if anything. Also, while outbreaks do tend to happen less freqently for some over time, I had been living with this for 15 years and they were still fairly regular. But no matter how stressful my days were, how heavy my weight training sessions or other athletic endeavors, the outbreaks have not returned!

For individuals who may have more sensitive skin than I, or have outbreaks in more sensitive places, Melissa essential oil can be diluted in a vegetable or nut oil (Hazelnut oil or Rosehipseed are commonly used) to 1/10th or even less of the total volume and be just as effective (some say that even 1% will work). It is important to note – and repeated many times in the literature – that taking any essential oil orally, or appliying undiluted to the skin, should be done with extreme caution – whatch your own reaction closely and proceed accordingly. I do not have experience with application to the genital variety of Herpes simplex, but the texts do not make a distinction – this may be where a carrier oil could come in handy. But whatever way it’s used, the system should be followed closely: apply Melissa 2-3 times a day to the affected area when an outbreak is on the way, and use it until the sores have healed completely. Follow this method for the next several outbreaks; there are no guarantees, but this may work for you or someone you may know – and what a wonderful thing it can be!

For sufferer’s of Shingles, another Herpes virus variety causing lesions of the skin, Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica, or ‘True’ Ravensara) oil has been used. Individuals have found relief using Ravensara in a 50-50 blend with Tamanu Nut oil. The Tamanu Nut sooths the skin during the healing process and keeps the Ravensara in contact with the sores. I have not heard of this offering a complete cure, but I have heard of this blend really helping relieve discomfort of this condition.

So if you choose to use aromatherapy oils like Melissa or Ravensara yourself, find a trusted source for the essential oils. Find ‘true’ varieties of each – Melissa is often adulterated, and the real thing is generally priced between $10 and $20 per milliliter (about 25 drops, which actually goes a long way); Ravensara should be of the ‘Ravensara aromatica’ variety. Be conservative with direct application – remember that diluting the oil has not been reported to reduce efficacy. Yes, I liked the Melissa oil straight, and never had a problem – but others I’ve known have had sensitive reactions – though this may have been related to UV exposure. Be good to yourself and listen to your body – may you achieve healing success!

What Is Herpes?

What Is Herpes?

Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus and is estimated to be present in 50 to 80 percent of the American adult population! 20 percent (that’s over 50 million people) are infected with genital herpes, also caused by the herpes simplex virus, and the majority of these cases may be unaware they even have it. Studies show that more than 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with genital herpes each year, and the largest increase is occurring in young teens.

Results of a nationally representative study show that genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, at least 45 million people ages 12 and older, or one out of five adolescents and adults, have had genital HSV infection. Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, the number of Americans with genital herpes infection increased by 30 percent!

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. Most individuals have no or only minimal signs or symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.

When signs do occur, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender ulcers (sores) that may take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or months after the first, but it almost always is less severe and shorter than the first outbreak. Although the infection can stay in the body indefinitely, the number of outbreaks tends to decrease over a period of years.

Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of five). This may be due to male-to-female transmissions being more likely than female-to-male transmission.

Living with genital herpes can be a hassle. When you have a herpes outbreak, it can feel like it takes days out of your life. And, you have questions about spreading genital herpes to a partner.

Herpes symptoms can come and go, but the virus stays in the nerve cells of your body even after all signs of the infection have gone away. In most people, the virus becomes active from time to time, creating an outbreak. Some people have herpes virus outbreaks only once or twice. Other people have many outbreaks of herpes each year.

Scientists don’t know what causes the virus to become active, but the number of outbreaks a person has tends to go down over a period of years. Some women say the virus comes back when they are sick, under stress, out in the sun, or during their period. There is no cure for herpes to date. Supporting your immune system should be your first goal. A weakened immune system is more prone to outbreaks.