Oral Herpes Symptoms In Men

The perception that oral herpes symptoms and genital herpes symptoms in men are somehow different is due, at least to some extent, to the fact that genital herpes carries a strong social stigma while oral herpes is generally viewed in a less negative light. Nonetheless, because the HSV-1 (responsible for oral herpes) and HSV-2 (the cause of genital herpes) viruses responsible for the two infections are 98% identical at a molecular level, they elicit nearly identical responses from the body's immune system. Indeed, it may surprise you to learn just how much sufferers of the two diseases have in common.

First off, with regards to transmission, the HSV-1 virus is usually passed on through saliva (although the virus can be picked up by the hands and then transmitted to the mouth and face) whereas HSV-2, as we all know, is generally transmitted via sexual intercourse. Despite these apparent differences, the manner in which the virus infects its new host is identical.

In order for transmission of either the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus to take place, the infected individual must be going through the contagious stage of the infection. This stage is commonly called a “breakout”, and comes about when the virus begins replicating itself, or “shedding” as the process is sometimes referred to. Physical contact with small cuts, scrapes, or other openings on a person's skin is then required to pass the virus on to a new host – although, in the case of HSV-1, the virus can be passed on through contact with saliva on a surface.

As far as initial herpes symptoms in men go, a man infected with HSV-1 will experience exactly the same symptoms as a man infected with HSV-2 (genital herpes). In both cases, outbreaks are accompanied by the onset of fatigue, unexplained muscle aches, and fever. Furthermore, while common genital herpes symptoms in men include tingling sensations, itching and burning in the groin region or on the genitals, these identical symptoms occur on or around the lips and mouth of men who are experiencing an oral herpes outbreak.

Outbreaks caused by both viruses also go through the same stages. The eruption of sores and clusters of blisters occurs at roughly the same point in both infections (two to 12 days after the outbreak begins), and is followed several days later by the formation of ulcers as the blisters drain. The healing time is even similar between the two infections – usually lasting anywhere between 10-14 days.

Of all the similarities between oral and genital herpes in men, perhaps the greatest one is one which sufferers would least like to acknowledge – the fact that both forms of the virus are incurable. Nonetheless, it is this apparent negative that could one day lead to a positive result for sufferers of both viruses. Due to the near-identical nature of HSV-1 and HSV-2, any medical breakthrough that benefits those afflicted with one virus would likely also benefit those infected with the other.

The perception that oral herpes symptoms and genital herpes symptoms in men are somehow different is due, at least to some extent, to the fact that genital herpes carries a strong social stigma while oral herpes is generally viewed in a less negative light. Nonetheless, because the HSV-1 (responsible for oral herpes) and HSV-2 (the cause of genital herpes) viruses responsible for the two infections are 98% identical at a molecular level, they elicit nearly identical responses from the body's immune system. Indeed, it may surprise you to learn just how much sufferers of the two diseases have in common.

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