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Guest Anonymous

This is a rough draft of a 10,000 word paper I am writing for a university english class I am currently taking... It outlines alot of the questions I see being asked on this forum... REMEMBER IT's just a rough...


Sexually transmitted diseases (STD?s) affect millions of people around the world today. The number of adolescents infected with STD?s every year has reached epidemic proportions. The numbers are staggering to say the least. It is estimated that over ?eight thousand American teens are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease every day. They estimate that 46% of the girls are likely to become infected with a disease after their very first sexual encounter.? Even as you read this paper ?one out of every five adolescents is currently living with some type of STD.? Out of those people currently infected with STD?s it is estimated that 50 to 80% of the American adult population is infected with HSV-1 (Cold Sores ? Labial Herpes or Orofacial Herpes). In 2003 it was estimated that over ?20% or over 50 million people? are in fact infected with HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus), many of which are unaware that they even have the virus. ?Recent studies show that more than 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with genital herpes each year.?

Description/Symptoms: HSV-1 & 2

Scientists have discovered 80 different strains of the herpes simplex virus. From these 80 known strains only 8 of them actually affect humans. The most common strains include Cold Sores (HSV-1), Genital Herpes (HSV-2) and the Herpes Zoster (HZ-Shingles). Cold sores and mouth blisters are basically facial herpes and are generally caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. The HSV-1 strain generally affects the upper portions of the body (from the neck and up). HSV-1 is usually found on or around the mouth however it has been known to affect areas around the eyes, nose, ears, and the interior of mouths although this is very un-common. Most doctors don?t actually consider HSV-1 a type of STD because so many people are in infected with it (50 ? 80% of the general population). Although it is un-common there are thousands of cases each year where HSV-1 affects the genitalia of people infected with the virus.

HSV-2 is the strain that generally affects the lower portions of the body (from the waist and down). HSV-2 is a highly contagious STD primarily affecting the genitalia of both men and women. In men symptoms typically start within 10 days after direct exposure to the virus. Although symptoms very dramatically from person to person the first sign of the disease may be an area of reddening/swelling or tingling of the skin. Some patients will experience flu like symptoms, which may include ?fever, muscle pain/tiredness and swollen tender glands (lymph nodes) in the groin.? If infected the reddening is almost always followed by a development of blisters or ulcerations. The blisters or ulcerations will often group together to form lessons on the skin. The blisters or ulcerations will look like small pimples, which become fluid filled. Eventually these ?pimples? burst to form an ulcer. When these lesions/pimples/ulcers burst a person/patient will under go excruciating pain. The fluid that bursts will contain high levels of the virus itself multiplied millions of times. It is highly contagious during these first few stages as the virus is actively shedding (multiplying). Once the virus is done multiplying the ulcers begin to heal by slowly crusting over. The healing will vary from person to person but can last between one and three weeks. Once the healing is complete the crust falls off usually leaving no scaring of skin tissue. ?In men these lesions can occur on the penis, urethra, scrotum, upper thigh and around the anus. In women, the lesions in a first episode can occur on the lips of the vagina (the vulva), urethra, cervix, upper thigh and around the anus.? Women generally experience pain for an average of 9 days while the lessons can take one to three weeks to heal. Most patients will experience no scaring of skin tissue however frequent outbreaks in the same area will leave scars, especially if outbreaks occur often without leaving time to completely heal.

The majority of patients infected with HSV-2 can expect several outbreaks, ?reoccurrences? of the virus within the course of their lifetime: about three to six times a year. In my research I have found that women tend to suffer more outbreaks because of their menstrual cycles, which tend to cause stress and ultimately reduce their immune systems strength. Reoccurrences will tend to decrease over time, and it?s not un-common for the outbreaks to stop completely. ?When the virus first enters the body it multiplies quickly, invading and destroying cells.? The initial outbreak is usually the worst a person will experience. This is largely due to the fact that this is the first time your body has been infected by such an infectious disease. Your immune system actually goes into a state of shock as your T-Cells amongst other cells are destroyed in the attack, damaged to the point where they burst (explode) giving birth to hundreds and thousands of identical herpes simplex viruses that had previously infected the cell. Your immune systems T-cells will spend the next two to three weeks trying to fight off this dominating virus. The truth is that your immune system actually defeats the virus in the end (kills it), but not before the virus had a chance to retreat into your nervous system to establish it?s permanent residency in your nerve bodies found near the end of your spine. Once residency is established the virus (defeated) lays dormant (not active) until it?s next outbreak. This state is known as ?latency.? Reoccurrences from this point on are much more mild and tend to be less mild as time passes. This is because your immune systems T-Cells actually built up a memory of the virus and how it was defeated in the past. It is much easier for these cells to combat the virus and it gets easier as time goes on, especially if patients keep active, eat healthy, exercise to support a strong healthy immune systems.


Transmission is one of the most interesting features HSV-1 & 2 have. One of the biggest myths about HSV-1 & 2 is that it can only be transferred through bodily fluids, similar to that of an HIV infection. HSV-1 & 2 are transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact. ?Most people are actually infected by HSV-1 for the first time during childhood. The first infection known as the primary infection is passed from person to person by direct contact with infected skin or saliva.? Condoms for example provide almost 0% effectiveness when used by males on females infected with HSV-2. Females will probably have sores outside the interior of their vaginas. The problem with condoms is that they can only cover so much of your genitalia. The same works when a male is infected with the virus. If his sores aren?t covered by the condom or are outside the area of protection and he?s shedding the virus there is a good chance that the virus will be passed onto yet another innocent un-suspecting host.

The reason why HSV-2 is becoming such an epidemic around the world is because the virus often shed?s without any visible symptoms. Researchers say that most of the people who are in fact infected with HSV-2 don?t even know it. The reason they don?t know it is because they have no obvious symptoms of the virus yet it continues to shed/multiply on the hosts skin. There are thousands upon thousands of cases each and every year where this happens. In these cases, the virus is spread from one person to another asymptomatically. Asymptomatic shedding is the leading cause for infection of both HSV-1 & 2. Bad virus?

Both HSV-1 & 2 can be transmitted orally. For example if a female (infected HSV-1) is currently shedding the virus whether it be asymptomatically or she is about to get a cold sore within a couple of days yet there are no visible signs and she goes down on a guy, that guy has an extremely good chance of getting the virus. Both HSV-1 & 2 can over lap, which means you can get HSV-1 in the genitals or you can get HSV-2 facially. It is extremely hard for scientists to tell the difference between the two strains because they do over lap so much.

A common myth about HSV-1 & 2 is that you can get infected from sitting on toilet seats, or using towels used by infected persons. Although these situations are extremely rare they are not 100% impossible. Viruses can?t survive outside the body for very long making transmission through toilet seats or towels near impossible. The virus attached to a cell dries up which first disables the virus as it dies. Keep in mind that viruses don?t and can?t live in oxygenated environments. Some scientists believe that this one known weakness is the next step in a cure for the herpes simplex virus.


Diagnosing Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 can prove to be extremely difficult for some people, especially if they don?t experience outbreaks. The problem with diagnosing herpes is that doctors can?t properly test you for infection unless you have open sores located some where on your body. This is why it is extremely important to go get yourself looked at by a doctor as soon as possible if you have discovered any type of sore in or around your genital area. Testing starts with a doctor examining you visually. If he suspects infection he will do a standard swab test, which would test you for different types of STDs (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea etc). He/she will than take a specific cultured swab from an open sore on your body and send both to a lab. Results generally come back in seven to ten days.

Some people who don?t get outbreaks demand blood tests. When patients get blood tests done, researchers test for certain antibodies in the blood that were previously used by the immune system to combat the virus. These tests have a high probability of failure and are often inconclusive. Keep in mind that this virus uses your nervous system where it?s in latency for most of the time. There are no traces of the virus in the blood system unless you are about to have an outbreak. A dormant virus is un-traceable. Dormant viruses have no effect on your body.


How can you kill something that isn?t even alive? My search for the truth about herpes took me right back to where I started. This is the only part of my research paper that truly disgusts me. Here?s my story, straight up. I?m sitting here asking myself why we send men to the moon when we haven?t truly discovered earth. How can a virus not be alive? Why can?t we kill something that kills so many men, women and children every day? I wonder why I?ve spent hours, days, nights, and weeks researching this topic. Why can?t I stop reading about this? I can?t count the amount of hours I?ve spent answering questions from people in pain on the Internet forums. I can?t even sleep. In all honestly all this research has changed my whole outlook on life. I?ve probably done more research on this subject than anyone actually infected by the virus. Maybe even more then some doctors. Why? Because my best friend was exposed to this disease and it?s ruined his life. He?s just not the same anymore. Than again either am I. I can?t see very many people living a completely normal life with this disease. It?s always in the back of your mind. Why should so many people have to suffer? Why does society allow such things happen? Does the Government not see that this is in fact a major epidemic?

Some venders may tell you there is in fact a cure for herpes. Despite what people tell you there is no known cure for herpes at this time. There are no cures for viruses out there period. We can?t even cure the common cold yet our biological weapons divisions in the United States have created viruses that could level entire cities. Does that make sense to you? We have the technology. We have experienced personnel and I pay for health care through my taxes. Where?s the cure? I mean how close can we possibly be when our scientists can?t even figure out if these things are alive or not. As if they don?t know. The problem lies within the pharmaceutical companies, who make millions of dollars a year producing anti-viral suppressants such as Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtrex. I?ve researched each of these herpes medications and I can tell you that some will work, some won?t. Nevertheless these medications will never cure this virus but they do manage to burn a hole in your pocket. If you had the chance to cure herpes but suffer the loss of millions of dollars in lost revenues per year, would you do it?

I do believe that one day there will be a cure for the herpes virus. Trials for herpes vaccines have had mixed results but are promising. The truth is your body is capable of beating this virus on it?s own. The cure lies within your immune system, it?s up to you to make that system as strong as it could possibly be. If the immune system can stop an HIV infection from turning into AIDS it can certainly stop HSV. Exercise enriches your blood with oxygen. In all my research I truly think oxygen is the key in killing this virus. HSV1 & 2 can?t survive in oxygen rich environments. A healthy diet can and will boost your immune system, so if outbreaks occur they are mild to none.


Herpes Simplex Virus is a dramatically intensive experience. To anyone who suffers with this disease my heart truly goes out to you, and the ones you love. Know that you are not alone, there are over 50 million people feeling just as you do. Remember that the Herpes Simplex Virus is not fatal and what doesn?t kill you only makes you stronger. ?Setbacks are given to ordinary people to make them extrodinary.?


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