Facts About Herpes

To dispel confusion about oral and genital variations of the virus, Dr. Tom Ferguson discussed the facts about herpes in this installment of his regular column.
By Dr. Tom Ferguson
March/April 1981
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Dr. Tom Ferguson covered the facts about herpes in his regular Medical Self Care column.
PHOTO: RICHARD ALLEN
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Genital herpes isn't the sort of subject that we usually cover in MOTHER EARTH NEWS. However, since there has been a good bit of seemingly misleading information about this illness in the media lately—and because so much of that information has been of a "scare story" nature—we felt that our readers deserved the facts about herpes and an opportunity to read a matter-of-fact discussion of the "new" disease that has affected the lives of a great many North Americans.  


An Epidemic of Ignorance

It's estimated that some 20 million Americans now have sexually transmitted herpes, a disease that's been called "the heartbreaker" largely because health workers often say (incorrectly!) that it is incurable. The fact is, however, that the body itself can cure this infection, and that people who help their bodies deal with it suffer less frequent and less severe attacks.

Herpes is caused by either of two closely related viruses: the herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2). Both the HSV's are "contact viruses": that is, they're spread from person to person by direct skin-to-skin contact... usually kissing (in the case of the familiar oral, or labial, herpes that's usually called a cold sore) or sexual contact (in the case of genital herpes). In fact, the only difference between cold sores and genital herpes is in the location of the infection!

Genital herpes sores are painful reddish blisters that erupt on the penis, on the vaginal lips, or inside the vagina. They last from one to several weeks, then disappear.

Many "experts" call herpes incurable because there is—at present—no drug capable of destroying the virus and no vaccine able to confer immunity. The same facts are true, of course, of the common cold ... and the body deals with a herpes infection in the same way it copes with a cold: It mobilizes the immune system to cure it.

Furthermore, in the immune-system/herpes battle, the former is heavily favored. In fact, only about one-third of the people who acquire the virus ever experience the recurrent flare-ups commonly thought to be always associated with it.

When considered as a physical illness, herpes is actually a relatively minor ailment. What concerns most sufferers is not the discomfort of the sores, but rather the emotional distress of having an illness that can complicate lovemaking relationships.

However, the central truth about herpes is that those who experience such emotional upset, anxiety, and stress over the illness are much more likely to have a difficult time with it than are folks who remain calm. Adopting a positive attitude—a "wellness orientation"—seems the best way to break the psychological "grip" of herpes and help your body cure any attack that might occur.

Herpes is most likely to erupt—as are colds—at times when the body is fatigued, ill, or under stress. By incorporating a personal "stress management program" into his or her day—whether it consists of meditation, jogging, or what have you—the herpes sufferer can keep his or her resistance up and recurrences down.  

Prevent Transmission

It is believed that the use of condoms will prevent transmission of herpes when visible sores are present. However, the blisters are likely to be painful enough to make lovemaking uncomfortable. Furthermore, because there is a danger of transmitting the illness when sores are active, it's probably a good idea to refrain from intercourse during such times.

Some people with herpes may be infectious for a period before a recurring sore becomes visible, too. Many such men and women notice a slight tingling or itchy feeling a day or two prior to an out-break. This period of "warning" is called the "prodrome." It serves as a signal that a sore is soon to erupt, and is similar to the feeling many of us experience when we know that "a cold's coming on".

People who have had herpes should learn to recognize their prodromes. Once they can do so, they can not only prevent transmission, but can also use relaxation exercises—or soothing activities such as hot baths or naps—to attempt to reduce the severity of the coming attack.

Is There Hope for a Cure?

Lots of folks ask me whether there will ever be a drug or vaccine to control herpes, and—at this point—I can only answer "maybe." Last year, the Food and Drug Administration authorized testing of a substance called 2-deoxy-D-glucose, which apparently hinders the replication of the herpes virus. The experimental cancer cure, interferon, may also prove to be useful against herpes. At present, however, the FDA has not licensed any drugs for the treatment of the illness.

The Real Dangers

Herpes sores are sometimes confused with those of syphilis. Both appear as red blisters, and both clear themselves up after a (variable) period of time. Herpes blisters, however, are almost always painful, while those of syphilis, a much more dangerous disease, are generally painless. If you even think that a genital sore might be a symptom of syphilis, call your local health department or visit a doctor. It takes many years for the symptoms of advanced syphilis to appear, but when they do, they can be terribly serious.

Another real danger associated with herpes is its apparent link with cervical cancer. It is not yet known whether herpes can actually cause this cancer, but a correlation has been found between the two diseases. Cervical cancer is nearly 100% curable if detected early. Women with herpes should probably have two Pap tests a year, rather than the one test usually recommended.

Finally, it is true that a pregnant woman can— only if she's in her prodrome or has active sores at the time of delivery—transmit herpes to her child. Because of this, most doctors insist upon performing caesarean sections on mothers who are in a contagious stage.

Herpes Info Resources

HELP, a program of the American Social Health Association, provides personal support for people with herpes. Membership includes access to the private HELPLINE telephone service staffed by health educators and resource librarians, and to the local herpes support groups now meeting in many cities in the United States and Canada. HELP membership also includes a subscription to THE HELPER, a quarterly newsletter and the best resource for keeping up on the research, psychological, and public policy aspects of herpes.  


In 1976, Tom Ferguson—then a fourth-year medical student at Yale—launched a magazine called Medical Self-Care, which he hoped would serve as "a Whole Earth Catalog of the best medical books, tools, and resources."  

Tom spoke of his plans for the publication and of his conviction that self-care could raise the general level of health in this country and lower our inflated levels of medical spending in a MOTHER EARTH NEWS interview, and left no doubt that he would work toward making those "dreams"come true.

Well, Tom Ferguson is Doctor Ferguson now, and the medical self-care "movement" — as well as Tom's magazine — has flourished. People are beginning to assume more responsibility for their own well-being and are eager for information that will help them take better care of their bodies.

So in an effort to provide just such very necessary data, MOTHER EARTH NEWS offers this regular feature by Tom Ferguson, M.D.
   


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Post a comment below.

 

Vanessa
5/28/2016 4:29:18 PM
The SPAM is strong in the comment stream.

DEBBIE
5/26/2016 7:38:30 AM
I remember when I found out that I had herpes. I immediately wanted to die. That was it. At 28, I was giving up on life. Why should I bother with life? Everyone who mattered to me was going to think I was some dirty whore or worse…I couldn’t face the realization that I had a lifelong std. I remember asking my Dr. If there was a cure…of course I knew there wasn’t but I was hoping and praying that one would materialize …but it didn’t. I was left to put my life back together. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to kill myself and I planned it too…but something clicked inside me…nothing was wrong with me! I was the same person that I was before. ..slowly i began searching for help online not untill i saw a comment on how Dr Emuan had help many people i quickly ran to him for help and today look at me now i am whole again i give thanks to him for restoring my health back you can also reach him because i know how it feels contact him at Dremuansolution@gmail.com

kelvinthomas
5/24/2016 10:17:48 AM
I am very much delighted to every viewers that is reading this,i want to inform the whole public of how me and my lover got cured from herpes simplex virus,i was diagnosed of herpes since 4years ago and also find out that my herpes virus also effected my lover,this disease started circulating all over my body, and i have also taken treatment from my doctor,few weeks back i came on the net to see if i will be able to get any information as to curing this disease, on my search i saw various testimony of someone who was healed from herpes simplex virus by the great man called Dr SILVER and i told my lover about it and without any hesitation, i contacted his email: drsilverhealingtemple@gmail.com i wrote him and and he guided me,i asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for the both of us and indeed 1week after me and my lover started using the medicine, we were completely cured no dot was found on my body and of my lover,so dear viewer why wasting your time living with this STD infection you can contact him now he is able to cure any kinds of disease,contact his Email drsilverhealingtemple@gmail.com

DEBBIE
5/19/2016 7:04:05 PM
I remember when I found out that I had herpes. I immediately wanted to die. That was it. At 28, I was giving up on life. Why should I bother with life? Everyone who mattered to me was going to think I was some dirty whore or worse…I couldn’t face the realization that I had a lifelong std. I remember asking my Dr. If there was a cure…of course I knew there wasn’t but I was hoping and praying that one would materialize …but it didn’t. I was left to put my life back together. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to kill myself and I planned it too…but something clicked inside me…nothing was wrong with me! I was the same person that I was before. ..slowly i began searching for help online not untill i saw a comment on how Dr Emuan had help many people i quickly ran to him for help and today look at me now i am whole again i give thanks to him for restoring my health back you can also reach him because i know how it feels contact him at Dremuansolution@gmail.com

kelvinthomas
5/17/2016 10:28:09 PM
I am very much delighted to every viewers that is reading this,i want to inform the whole public of how me and my lover got cured from herpes simplex virus,i was diagnosed of herpes since 4years ago and also find out that my herpes virus also effected my lover,this disease started circulating all over my body, and i have also taken treatment from my doctor,few weeks back i came on the net to see if i will be able to get any information as to curing this disease, on my search i saw various testimony of someone who was healed from herpes simplex virus by the great man called Dr SILVER and i told my lover about it and without any hesitation, i contacted his email: drsilverhealingtemple@gmail.com i wrote him and and he guided me,i asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for the both of us and indeed 1week after me and my lover started using the medicine, we were completely cured no dot was found on my body and of my lover,so dear viewer why wasting your time living with this STD infection you can contact him now he is able to cure any kinds of disease,contact his Email drsilverhealingtemple@gmail.com

elanerosa
5/5/2016 4:28:22 PM
I’m so grateful to DR. BULUKONA. I was told i have diabetes in 2015, i have been taking different kinds of medication until i saw testimonies of DR. BULUKONA curing herpes and other disease. I made up my mind and contacted him, i told him about my diabetes he advised and encouraged me and gave me medicine which i took according to his dosage information. Now I’m so happy I’m cured from diabetes my heart is so filled with joy, thank you so much DR. BULUKONA. If you are reading this and you have diabetes or any kind of disease Email: bulukonasolutiontemple@outlook.com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple.webs.com, call or text +2347068047006

elanerosa
5/5/2016 4:26:46 PM
I’m so grateful to DR. BULUKONA. I was told i have diabetes in 2015, i have been taking different kinds of medication until i saw testimonies of DR. BULUKONA curing herpes and other disease. I made up my mind and contacted him, i told him about my diabetes he advised and encouraged me and gave me medicine which i took according to his dosage information. Now I’m so happy I’m cured from diabetes my heart is so filled with joy, thank you so much DR. BULUKONA. If you are reading this and you have diabetes or any kind of disease Email: bulukonasolutiontemple@outlook.com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple.webs.com, call or text +2347068047006

gabbueno
4/23/2016 8:55:05 AM
I still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr. BULUKONA.After been diagnosed of HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2014, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. BULUKONA in an online research and on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I'm truly grateful,i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. Contact the Great BULUKONA today, Email: bulukonasolutiontemple@outlook.com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple.webs.com, call or text +2347068047006

gabbueno
4/23/2016 8:54:13 AM
I still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr. BULUKONA.After been diagnosed of HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2014, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. BULUKONA in an online research and on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I'm truly grateful,i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. Contact the Great BULUKONA today, Email: bulukonasolutiontemple@outlook.com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple.webs.com, call or text +2347068047006

marlathomaz
4/9/2016 2:11:37 AM
I am so so happy today, I have been suffering from HIV for the past 3years now, i have spent a lot getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, i have tried all means in life to become HIV negative , but there was no answer until i decided to try herbal solution and i found Great Dr. BULUKONA in an online research i contacted him and after his powerful intervention I'm so glad that i am now HIV Negative, i am very very happy, thank you Great Dr. BULUKONA for helping my life come back newly again without any form of crisis, i promise to tell your name and good deeds to the whole world. Kindly contact him for cure regarding, HIV, Herpes, Cancer and other disease. Email: bulukonasolutiontemple@outlook.com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple.webs.com, call or text +2347068047006

DEBBIE
4/2/2016 7:33:11 AM
About 6 months ago I was searching for some kind of relief/cure? for genital herpes for my husband and myself. I have been suffering from herpes outbreaks for 18 years and gave my husband the gift that keeps on giving last year and he has been miserable with almost non stop outbreaks:( It sure has taken its toll on our sex life. I stumbled across surfing the net and immediately bought the herbs the product. We both started with morning and night applications, starting with 1 drop and working our way up to 15 drops, each day adding another drop. after 15 days of applying the drops we are now completely healed for the embarrassing disease and thanks to who made this possible Dremuansolution@gmail.com

DEBBIE
3/17/2016 3:52:35 AM
About 6 months ago I was searching for some kind of relief/cure? for genital herpes for my husband and myself. I have been suffering from herpes outbreaks for 18 years and gave my husband the gift that keeps on giving last year and he has been miserable with almost non stop outbreaks:( It sure has taken its toll on our sex life. I stumbled across surfing the net and immediately bought the herbs the product. We both started with morning and night applications, starting with 1 drop and working our way up to 15 drops, each day adding another drop. after 15 days of applying the drops we are now completely healed for the embarrassing disease and thanks to who made this possible Dremuansolution@gmail.com

Greg
3/9/2016 7:05:13 AM
Genital herpes is a common viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of the virus, types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2). As well as genital herpes, HSV can infect the mouth and cause cold sores. HSV-1 and HSV-2 lesions look the same and can only be distinguished by laboratory testing. For more information and total cure, kindly email us at herpes@europeanscheme.com.ng

kelvinamber
1/4/2016 3:11:27 PM
I'm giving a testimony about Dr. LANO the great Herbalist, he has the cure to all manner of diseases, he cured my HSV DISEASES , though I went through different website I saw different testimonies about different spell casters and herbalist, I was like: 'Many people have the HSV cure why are people still suffering from it?' I thought of it, then I contact Dr. Lano via email, I didn't believe him that much, I just wanted to give him a try, he replied my mail and Needed some Information about me, then I sent them to him, he prepared it (CURE) and sent it to Airfreight Online Courier Service for delivery, he gave my details to the Courier Office, they told me that 3-5 days I will receive the package and i took the medicine as prescribed by him and I went for check-up 1 week after finishing the medicine, I was HSV DISEASE, if you are HSV patient do me a favor for you to contact him and I will try my possible best to make sure you get cured, when you contact him, make sure you tell him that I referenced you.. contact him via: lanospellhome@yahoo.com you can contact me on kelvinamber1@gmail.com to get more update on the procedures

Anonymous
12/16/2015 9:34:20 PM
Genital Herpes is NOT incurable. I cured myself, and I'm not sure exactly how, but I know that I changed my diet drastically, by eating greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, seeds, etc., and cutting out meat, after reading Eat to Live. I also prayed (and continue to pray) passionately, daily. Last, I had one session of what I was told was ozonotherapy.All I know is I'm healed and I thank God.

melissa
11/9/2015 8:41:36 PM
am melissa moore. I cannot believe this. I cannot believe that a man like Dr. ezomo is still in this earth. My beloved brothers and sister fathers and mothers you all need to hear this. I was infected with gentian herpes for more than 5years now. And right now one faithful day my spirit drag me to open the internet and I search and see this man and seeing this man I no is the Gods doing so I decide to talk with him about my problems and he told me he can help me at. At first I was doubting him because for 5years I have been in this situation and now you came from no where and said you will help me. Then I said let me give him a try he ask me to get some items for the process which I did and later he send me something which I take and use it. And told me to go and sleep and once I am wake the next morning I should go for checkup. Which really I did and it was negative. Please if you no you are in any kind of problem try and reach him true email: drezomospellhome@hotmail.com and receive your own 0r contact me at mellisamoore25@gmail.com for more information?

Tammyhess
11/8/2015 2:19:20 AM
Hi...I want to testify about how Dr.Trust help me to cure my herpes virus. It was in my brain causing constant pounding and messing with my sight. It tingles at the base of my spine all the time and messes hugely with my bowel function. My right leg was numb and I can'th sleep at night because of the symptoms. This was hell on earth. I have tried everything to get off the virus but nothing comes out good on it. I saw so many testimony on how dr.trust the herbs medicine man help to cure so many people herpes. So i contact him for help and tell him my herpes problem. He assure me that i will be negative after he finish casting the spell for 48 hours. He cast the spell and asked me to go for check-up after three days of casting the spell, Luckily for me were tested herpes negative, now I believe all these Testimonies about him on the internet, he is truly a great man, I am now free from herpes all thanks goes to dr.trust for what he did in my life...If you are out there have herpes problem or any other disease you have to seek for his help because he is going to help you cure your herpes or any other sickness.(Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com or call him +2348156885231)

amelia
10/31/2015 6:52:05 PM
there are herbal therapies that could totally eradicate this virus from the body meanwhile there has been proofs and lots of testimonies to that effect. I took my time to investigate one Dr. ezomo on how his herbs magically cured my friend craig and his girl friend who contacted this embarrassing virus. Please do reach out to Dr. ezomo via his email: drezomospellhome@hotmail.com, phone +2349032744617 Please don't die in pains and shame contact him now.http://ezomoherbalhome.webs.com

SarahRobinson
10/29/2015 8:02:37 PM
I've had HEPATITIS B problem over 4 years. I tried everything, of course I went to the doctor. about a hundred times, and though about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I’m gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was surfing the internet I found Dr.Suku contact number. I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I’m cured by Dr. Suku herbal medicine, I’m very thankful to Dr. Suku and very happy with my hubby and family.his email greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com or contact his hot line:+2348074839242 so any type of disease HIV/AIDS,CANCER, ALS, Hepatitis C, PCV.. HERPES,through his via email;greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com

tgrbts
10/27/2015 7:35:06 AM
Here's a real helpful comment: Stay away from nuts, and stress. Stress is hard, but nuts is a do able thing. nuts and peanut butter will break you out every time.

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