Feb 21, 2017

Posted by in Health Always | 0 Comments

How to Cope With a Herpes Infection

Many people feel discomfited by the mere mention of the word “herpes”. We’re afraid of this sexually transmitted disease (STD), and so we diffuse our fear by making jokes rather than take the matter seriously. Perhaps because of this attitude, confusion exists about herpes and how it is different from other STDs.

Herpes is a viral infection, which means it is caused by a virus rather than bacteria. As a result, herpes is incurable with antibiotics, and the virus remains to exist in the person’s immune system for life. Depending on which part of the body is infected, herpes symptoms can occur in, on, or around the rectum, genitals, and/or mouth. However, not all infections show symptoms. In fact, most cases of herpes in Singapore don’t show any symptoms, so some infected persons have no idea about their condition.

For the brave individuals enduring this viral infection, here are the things worth knowing for living healthily with herpes.

Triggering Recurrences

Whatever triggers the recurrence of symptoms seems to be amplified by emotional stress. Although no researches have been made specifically about what triggers herpes symptoms, many health studies have demonstrated a link between weakened immune system and chronic psychological stress to affect recurrences of symptoms. A person who has a weakened immune system is more likely to experience recurrences if infected with herpes. Therefore, reducing stress will greatly benefit a person with this sexually transmitted disease.


Herpes is highly controllable in most patients with the help of std testing in Singapore and anti-viral medications. Three medicines area widely used by professionals for controlling this infection: Valtrex, Famvir, and Acyclovir. Other prescription drugs can also be used in rare instances, when the virus becomes resistant to the mentioned medications.

Recent studies show that the use of the drug Valtrex, and perhaps other anti-viral drugs, significantly reduces viral shedding can potentially decrease or prevent transmission of the infection. Topical medication like Zovirax can also help control cold sores.

Fatigue and Stress

When a person feels tired, his/her body has to work twice as hard to keep up with day-to-day activities, which in result stresses the nervous system. The virus that causes herpes lives in the bottom part of the spinal column called the ganglia. Since the spinal cord is the central part of our nervous system, the virus becomes part of it as well. When our nervous system is fatigued or stressed, viral activity increases and outbreaks may occur.

A person with herpes should maintain a healthy sleep cycle, which means an estimate of eight hours of peaceful and non-chemically-induced sleep. Healthcare professionals and doctors can provide suggestion for improving one’s quality of sleep.

Ultraviolet Light

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) lighting—from tanning or sun exposure—is known to re-activate herpes infections. To avoid recurrences, exposure to UV light as much as possible or use sunscreen with at least SPF 25 in the area where the infection exists. Infected people should also avoid sunbathing naked or using tanning beds without clothes on.

Essential Diet

Some patients benefit from elevated lysine and decreased levels of arganine in their diet. Lysine fights herpes-infected cells by counteracting growth-stimulating effects of arganine in herpes-infected cells. Foods that contain significant amount of lysine are soybeans, milk, and meat. To further boost the body’s lysine level, lysine-rich supplements readily available in many Singapore food and health shops.

Sexual Interaction Between Partners

In any intimate relationship between two persons with herpes, either one or both of them have oral or genital herpes or both. Even if both partners are infected, they may carry different types and strains, and therefore could pass that different strain to the other person. Thus, in such situations, the same precautions apply.

The doctor may recommend an STD screening and not to get touch or do anything with the affected part until it is treated and has totally healed. Likewise, those who have recurring cold sores should be cautious when performing oral sex. A man can wear a condom to prevent the transmission of oral infections. However, the condom does not protect the fingers, scrotum, or other parts of the body against infection.

For women, a female condom or a dental dam can be used in the vaginal area to prevent transmission of the virus during intercourse. Another alternative is to cut out a portion of a latex condom and use it to cover the vagina and the area around it.

Another important caution to remember is to avoid aggressive sexual intercourse as forceful thrusting can create microscopic tears in the genitals, which is susceptible to transmission of virus.

Alternatives in Intimacy

A person with herpes can still have a fulfilling sex life even after an STD test shows positive result. As long as the other partner knows and accepts the risks of having sexual intercourse with the infected partner, it’s fine to have sex.
Otherwise, explore other means without having genital-to-genital interaction, such as using sex toys and mutual masturbation (masturbating together with a partner). Exploring them can enrich one’s sex life and make up for the need to avoid sexual intercourse because of herpes.

Treatment and Prevention

As of the moment, there is still no definitive medication that can cure herpes or prevent uninfected individuals from getting infected. However, researches for ‘Herpevac’ are being developed to help prevent transmission of genital herpes. So far, it has passed the preliminary testing for effectiveness and safety, and is now in the final phase of clinical trials (on women only).

However, before having intimate relationship with a person, one should go through the preventative measure of making sure that both parties are safe from herpes and other infections, and an STD screening is the best way to confirm that. If inevitably STD testing appears positive, always remember that it’s still possible to live a healthy and normal life with these precautions in mind.

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