Informative Articles and Independent, Unbiased Product Reports On Various Herpes Remedies

Can I Be Infected Twice?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that often has no signs or symptoms. An individual can be a carrier of the disease and infect other people without realizing it. If signs and symptoms do occur, they usually show up as blisters or large rash-like bumps around the rectum or genitals. These blisters break leaving open, tender ulcers that can take a month to heal. Usually the first outbreak is the worst. Subsequent outbreaks are common and can appear weeks or months or sometimes years after the first outbreak. These outbreaks tend to be less severe and shorter than the first one. There are varies stages of the disease, but generally you'll have fewer ulcer outbreaks the longer you have the condition. If left untreated, the virus could cause brain damage.

How Common is Genital Herpes?

Many statistics show that genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted disease in developed countries. In the United States, about one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have the herpes virus that can cause genital warts.

It tends to be more common in women. One out of five women between the ages of 14 and 49 become infected. One out of nine men in the same age group get the disease. Some studies the virus transmits easier from an infect male to his female partner than the other way around.

Since herpes is such a common STD, one might wonder if it's possible to become infected twice. Does a person who already has the genital herpes virus have to worry about getting it again? Is it safe for two people who already have the virus to have unprotected sex together? Here are some things to consider that may answer these questions.

Scientific Research

According to research done in the 1980s, there is more than one strain of genital herpes. The study, conducted in Atlanta, Georgia, basically proved that it is possible for a person who is already infected with herpes to get infected again with a different strain.

The studies show that this is possible, but there have been very few documented cases of this actually happening. The reason for this is that the original virus infection increases the body's immunity making it more difficult to get a secondary infection. The body creates a specific type of antibody against a strain already there and this special antibody makes it hard to catch a second infection.

Different Herpes Strains

Telling the difference between the various parts of herpes strains requires a great deal of painstaking research and work. Family doctors aren't equipped to do these types of tests. Specialists in a laboratory setting collect the DNA fingerprint of each strain. Based on this ability to extract the herpes virus DNA fingerprint, medical researchers have been able to accurately determine that dual infections of two strains are possible. Even though this is rare, statistics suggest that those who have the virus likely came into contact with different strains from more than one partner.

Are There Signs of a Second Infection?

Although it's rare to become infected with different strains of the herpes virus, simply having the virus is no guarantee that you'll never become infected with another strain. People who get a secondary herpes virus infection may not necessarily have any symptoms. In most cases, they probably won't have worse symptoms than they've ever experienced. If they do have symptoms, the symptoms may be so mild that they're not noticed at all. The body's immune system will, in most cases, fight the secondary infection so that there are no symptoms or only mild symptoms.