Funmi a tall vibrant and charming young lady in her early thirties, who valued friendship and family: not a day went by without her celebrating her friends’ and family’s birthday on her WhatsApp status and Facebook.
One Monday morning as she prepared to head for her office, she noticed a blister around her genitals; it made her uncomfortable- as it was itchy, though she ignored and thought it was normal aftershave rashes she usually experiences- she recently shaved.
A few days later, she noticed more blisters, as the initial one had burst- leading to a painful and unbearable sore-which distorted her movement and made urinating painful as her urine irritates the sore. This time around she knew she had to see her doctor- she scheduled an appointment with him.
On meeting her doctor, Dr. Smith asked her several questions- she told him how she felt- he observed her, and requested for samples to be collected for laboratory investigation via a swab, and promised to follow-up on her via a phone call once her results are out- after arriving at his final diagnosis.
The next day, while lying down on her couch watching Ave and Praggya, her phone rang- it was Dr. Smith’s call- she quickly reduced the television volume to receive his call, and their conversation started.
So Funmi, from the lab results and my initial interview with you, we discovered you are having Herpes! Funmi was marveled and lost, the initial grin she had on her face disappeared instantly. What is Herpes? she responded. Herpes is an infection caused by a virus- the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), it affects sexually active people, and there are two major types: HSV1 and HSV2 he told her. HSV2- is what we are going to be managing, and it occurs mostly around the genitals, even the use of condoms doesn’t give adequate protection in preventing it. Whereas, HSV1 occurs around the face and causes blisters around the corner of the mouth – leading to what we call cold sores.
This is strange oh! Where must I have gotten this from? Funmi it’s difficult to know but no need for suspicion- some people have herpes and they never experience signs and symptoms, however, they can spread it to others. Others contract HSV1 from their mothers during the process of childbirth as they passed through her birth canal. Information I feel is important for you to also know is this: you can’t get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, swimming pools, or from touching surrounding objects.
Wait a minute! she took a deep breath, and exhaled before asking- Dr. Smith can it be cured? What can I do to prevent others from getting it? Will it affect pregnancy?
At this point you need to calm down, as herpes is not a big issue as portrayed on the internet- so I will advise you only read about it on professional websites- it will be good if you don’t even search on it, as I will provide you with all the information you need. So back to your questions, unfortunately, herpes can’t be cured, but it can be managed using antiviral medications: this helps prevent transmitting it to your partner or baby when you are pregnant- shortens the duration and reduce the severity of the first herpes episode. Ordinarily, I’ll advise you to avoid having sex when you are experiencing an outbreak (you see blisters, painful ulcers, fever, itching, body aches e.t.c).
As for your last question in the sequence, I will need to talk to you in a face-to-face meeting, for now, take care, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
For now, Herpes Simplex Virus doesn’t have a vaccine, but we believe we can help more people prevent and manage herpes by empowering them with the right information, feel free to contact Inocul8 on WhatsApp 08160962414 or follow us on Instagram @inocul8.