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Genital Herpes

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Autor:   •  January 8, 2017  •  Essay  •  638 Words (3 Pages)  •  333 Views

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Genital Herpes

Amanda Frank

Rasmussen College

Author Note

        This paper is being submitted on November 10, 2016, for Vanessa Soda’s NUR2115 Fundamentals of Professional Nursing Course.  

Genital Herpes

        Genital herpes is an infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) virus, but can also be spread through herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).  Herpes simplex virus type 1 is the strain that commonly causes cold sores around the mouth and lips. Genital herpes is very common, with one out of five sexually active people being infected. Genital herpes occurs when a person engages in sex with someone who has an active infection of HSV-2, or HSV-1.  In order to be diagnosed with genital herpes, a doctor would complete an assessment of the blister-like sore and possibly do a culture.  As well as a clinical assessment, the physician would also inquire what other symptoms the patient may have had as well as sexual partners or encounters.   (Centers for Disease Control, 2016).

Symptoms typically occur within two weeks of infection, but may also lie dormant in for a significant amount of time prior to showing symptoms.  The first time someone has an outbreak they may present with flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, achiness, as well as an outbreak of a blister-like sore near the genital or rectal area.  The sore starts as a cluster of fluid-filled blisters which later break open and a very tender and painful sore is left.  The sores may take two to four weeks to heal, during which time the person is very contagious if the area is directly contacted (American Academy of Dermatology, 2016).

         There is no cure for herpes regardless of the type.  However, there are antiviral medications that shorten the length and severity of an outbreak.  Some of the medications available are only taken when an outbreak is occurring, or some are taken every day.  Most people, who are not being treated with an anti-viral medication, typically have four to five outbreaks a year, which usually aren’t as severe as the initial outbreak (Centers for Disease Control, 2016).

The best ways to prevent acquiring genital herpes is abstinence, a long term monogamous relationship, and open and honest conversations about previous sexual partners and possible exposure with your current partner.  Although condoms may help in the spread of the virus, oftentimes the herpetic sores are not being covered by a condom and therefore easily transferable.  If you are a known carrier of the HSV-2 virus you and your partner should abstain from sexual activity until the sores have dissipated.


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