The Different Types of Herpes Virus

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

When we talk about herpes, the first thing that will come into mind is that this is a sexually transmitted disease. Although this is true, you need to understand that there are two kinds of herpes viruses and their signs and symptoms vary according to the severity of the condition

Herpes simplex virus or most commonly known as herpes are identified to have two types. They are Herpes Type 1 or the HVS-1 which is commonly known as oral herpes. Type 2 Herpes virus on the other hand is called HVS-2 or genital herpes. Although Type 1 can cause Type 2, it is the Type 2 herpes that usually causes this condition. The sores or blisters of people with Type 2 herpes are usually found in the genitals or rectum. They can also be found below the waist.

How can you contact herpes?

For the Type 1 herpes, you can contact this through oral secretions or sores on the skin. It can be spread through kissing or sharing objects like spoons, forks or toothbrushes. Type 2 Herpes on the other hand can be contacted through sexual intercourse with someone who has HSV-2. That is why it is important that you know what the mode of transmission for these viruses are so you can avoid getting it.

There are also cases where herpes can be contacted through birth. If a pregnant mother has genital herpes, most likely this can be passed on the baby during childbirth. In other cases, herpes can also occur when one is suffering from general illness, fatigue, emotional and physical stress, AIDS, trauma to the affected area, menstruation, immunosuppression due to chemotherapy, radiation and the likes. People who have multiple sex partners are also prone to getting herpes.

Signs and symptoms

People with herpes usually have multiple blisters around the affected areas. If it’s oral herpes then most likely you will see these blisters around the mouth. If it’s genital herpes, the blisters are usually found in the genitals or rectum. These blisters become painful and tender.

Herpes can be diagnosed through lab tests including DNA or PCR tests and virus cultures. If you suspect that you have herpes, it’s best to consult to your physician as soon as possible so as to avoid further complications.


Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes yet but there are treatments that can relieve the symptoms. These can help reduce the pain from the blisters and can shorten healing time. Drugs like Famvir, Zovirax and Valtrex can be used to treat this condition. However, these drugs cannot totally irradicate the herpes virus in your body. They will keep it inactive but if something triggers the virus then most likely herpes will come back again. Warm baths on the other hand can also relieve pain from the genitals or rectal area where these blisters are found.

So play it safe, be smart when it comes to your sexual activities. Stick to one partner and make sure that you visit your doctor regularly. Doing so will keep you aware of what’s going on inside your body and find the best treatment as soon as possible.

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