Herpes in Nigeria

Herpes in Nigeria Image

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that targets the mouth and reproductive organs of the body. The disease is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which has two types: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). 

HSV-1 is known to cause oral herpes, which infects the lips and mouth. Symptoms include cold sores and fever blisters. HSV-1 is not considered an STD by many healthcare experts, but it is still a serious health concern.

HSV-2, better known as genital herpes, is more severe than its oral counterpart. It affects the genital area, unlike HSV-1, which is limited to the mouth and causes lesions, including blisters and sores, on the skin. HSV-2 can only be contracted by skin-on-skin contact with an infected person. To contract HSV-2, you must come into direct contact with either the mucous membranes from or an exposed cut of an infected individual.

Having one type of HSV does not guarantee that you have the other one too. The two types act independently of each other and even target different areas. However, it is still possible to have both if you contract them at the same time, but one cannot cause the other.

Herpes in Nigeria

Nigeria is in the midst of a healthcare crisis; the rates of genital herpes in Nigeria are higher than in any other country with an estimate of 77.8% of adults being carriers of HSV-2. Older people have a higher prevalence of the disease, with the 51-60 year age group having the greatest rate of disease occurrence. The rates of prevalence are higher in unemployed people than in those with jobs. 

Pregnant women also experience cases of HSV-2. A survey carried out in Benin, Nigeria, showed that a staggering 46.3% of consenting pregnant women from a sample population were HSV-2 positive. 

Diagnosis of Herpes

Herpes is diagnosed by either one or a combination of the following methods:

  • Viral Culture: A lab test is conducted on a sore or tissue sample from the patient.
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): This method is used to replicate your DNA from a sample of your blood, sore tissue, or spinal fluid. The resulting DNA is then tested for HSV.
  • Blood test: a blood sample is tested for the presence of HSV antibodies.

An expert physician, especially one working in a region densely affected by herpes, can also diagnose the disease based on a simple physical exam.

Portable Herpes Test Kits

Due to the strong prevalence of HSV in Nigeria, the government and many organizations have made efforts to make self-examination common. Luckily, this can easily be done with the help of portable herpes test kits. 

These kits contain testing materials like cotton swabs and test tubes, as well as shipping envelopes. A person who suspects an infection must collect either a sore tissue sample or mucus sample and send it to the given address marked on the kit inside the special envelope provided inside the package. After a few days, you can access the test results online.

If you’re worried about being infected, but feel uncomfortable about going to the hospital, this is the perfect choice for you!

Challenges Associated with Treating Herpes in Nigeria 

Nigeria is suffering from a herpes epidemic. Despite efforts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other NGOs, the virus still runs rampant amongst the Nigerian people. There are several challenges associated with the eradication of HSV in Nigeria. 

Firstly, Nigeria is a developing country with the highest levels of poverty in the world, overtaking other developing nations like India and Ethiopia. This poverty is the primary reason why it has become so difficult to eliminate herpes from the area. 

Due to poverty, the Nigerian people face a severe shortage of medication as well as testing methods. Their overall lack of education has led to most adults being unaware of the dangers of herpes. This lack of awareness prevents them from practicing safe sex, which increases the likelihood of HSV contraction. 

Those who are aware of the symptoms of HSV often have limited methods of confirming it. There is both a shortage of hospitals and testing kits in the region. Even the efforts made by NGOs are insufficient to confront the healthcare issues faced by the 86.9 million people living in poverty in Nigeria.

Additionally, the shortage of clean water and the prevalence of unhygienic conditions have led to an increase in HSV cases as the majority of Nigerians cannot afford to practice good hygiene.  Due to poverty, many people also cannot afford contraceptives and are thus exposed to diseases that are transmitted through direct contact with genital sores and mucus. 

Interestingly, HSV sometimes appears with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Reports say that HSV-2 makes it easier for people to contract HIV, but making it harder to treat them because of the compromised state HIV puts their immune system in. This is by far the most complicated challenge faced by healthcare providers trying to eliminate HSV in Nigeria. 

An individual affected by HSV-2, as well as HIV, cannot be treated the way a person with only HSV-2 would. Using excessive medication would harm the patient more than help them because of how weak HIV/AIDS has made their body.

Nigeria is severely affected by herpes, which is caused by HSV. It is a viral disease that cannot be treated with antibiotics, making treatment harder than initially anticipated by healthcare experts. The majority of adults in Nigeria suffer from HSV, especially HSV-2, which affects the genital area.

Despite the efforts of multiple NGOs, termination of herpes seems near impossible due to the widespread challenges that affect Nigerians. There is no exact solution for the condition, but medical experts around the world are working towards a cure.

References:

https://www.pulse.ng/lifestyle/beauty-health/genital-herpes-causes-symptoms-and-prevention-of-this-ailment/xnv9z5t

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319524.php#transmission-of-hsv2

https://allafrica.com/stories/200810140635.html

Genital Herpes

Herpes Information

There are two types of venereal conditions. The first one comes from the Type 1 virus, while the other is Type 2. Though both are venereal diseases, they exhibit distinct clinical conditions. Type 1 virus mainly attacks the mouth and lips of a patient with painful blisters. Then Type 2 affects the genitals in both men and women. The most common is the lip herpes that people rarely associate it with any venereal virus. Though many terms it as disease, genital herpes is a condition like HIV. You will have to manage it for life.

Read More: HIV and AIDS

Analysis

Like all the others, genital herpes relies on sexual contact for its transmission. When one comes into contact with genital fluids from an infected person, the virus infects the foreign person. The debate around the transmission through oral saliva is still ongoing. The worrying trend is most of the infected persons do not realize that they are carriers. Like HIV, you may incubate the virus for a long period without displaying any clinical signs.

Read More: STDs in Ghana

The incubation period is not constant. The outbreak of the symptoms can be within a week or stay for months. Herpes symptoms will include any of the following.

  • Blisters around the mouth and lips
  • In both men and women, blisters on the genitals, buttocks and the anus
  • Painful itching of the blistering area
  • Open sores after the blister breaks and oozes fluids
  • Swelling of the lymph glands
  • Headaches and fever

Pregnant women can pass the disease to the baby during delivery. So, it is advisable to have cesarean delivery at childbirth. The complications on the baby may mirror or be severe than the parent.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Clinical Testing

Most likely, the doctor can diagnose the sores by physical examination. But the standard practice is to have the fluid and tissues for laboratory testing. A clinical blood test can detect the herpes virus in its incubation period. In case you suspect of any exposure to the virus, seek medical opinion fast.

Product: Herpes Private Test Kit

Product: One Step Herpes Test

Treatment

Since it is a lifetime condition, the medication can only manage the clinical signs. Most doctors prescribe a combination of antiretroviral for a specific period. Treatment is usually at the onset of the outbreak until the symptoms disappear.

Self-medication at home is a supplement to conventional drugs. Proper hygiene with mild bathing soaps and drying the sores with a dry towel is highly effective in managing the ulcers. It helps in containing the blisters and accelerates the healing of the crusts.

Read More: Genital Herpes Treatment

Prevention

As you have more outbreaks, so does your immune system decline. It is useful if you abstain from sexual activities. This reduces the chance of contracting other diseases like HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Pregnant mothers should take good care of themselves to avoid mother to infant transmission.

Read More: What’s Herpes and Benefits of Testing at Home

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326882486_SERO-prevalence_of_herpes_simplex_virus_type_1_and_type_2_among_women_attending_routine_Cervicare_clinics_in_Ghana

https://www.redelve.com/backend/images/article/1553841134.pdf

Genital Herpes Treatment

Herpes Information

Genital herpes is a ubiquitous disease. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 6 of all adolescents and adults in the US have genital herpes. Further complicating this issue is the fact that we are frequently unable to fully get rid of this infection, borrowing one of my favorite quotes: “Unlike love, herpes lasts forever.” That does not mean we are completely defenseless, though, we have treatments that significantly reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life for these patients, and that is the topic of this article.

Read More: Genital Herpes Overview

The medications most commonly used in the treatment of genital herpes are:

  • Acyclovir 400 mg thrice daily (standard dosage)
  • Valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily
  • Famcyclovir 250 mg thrice daily

Even though these medications are equally effective, acyclovir is usually the preferred medication, particularly because it is much cheaper than its competitors. The duration of treatment varies by whether the patient has a first outbreak, a repeat episode or is suffering from a severe form of the disease:

  • A duration of 10 days is usually sufficient for a first clinical episode of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.
  • Recurrent episodes are usually treated for five days.
  • Patients with 4-6 episodes or more per year, or with severe distress during episodes might choose to undergo suppressive therapy, which means treatment for longer periods of time (months to years).

Of course, not all episodes fit the molds of our guidelines. For example, it is acceptable to use double (800 mg) dose acyclovir for five days for severe episodes or use a shorter two-day course with double the dosage to shorten the treatment duration.

The disease affects each patient differently. A subset of the population might have heavier and more frequent outbreaks; thus, it is recommended to monitor patients for frequency and judge the costs/benefits of suppressive therapy accordingly.

Another vulnerable group includes patients with concomitant Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections. The risk of disseminated HSV infection in these patients is high enough that suppressive therapy is almost always warranted.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Antiviral resistant HSV has become an issue lately. Since the three medications mentioned above are overall similar in structure, resistance to acyclovir usually means resistance to all three of them, in these cases, the medications used are:

  • Foscarnet 40–80 mg/kg IV every 8 hours until clinical resolution is attained
  • Intravenous cidofovir 5 mg/kg once weekly
  • Topical Imiquimod or cidofovir over five days

The future for patients at risk of contracting HSV is clearly bright. There are multiple vaccine candidates currently being researched for prevention, some already in the later phases of clinical development, and showing significant promise.

Read More: Genital Herpes

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/genital-HSV-treatment-guidelines/en/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-genital-herpes-simplex-virus-type-2-in-hiv-infected-patients

https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/herpes.htm

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X16002978?via%3Dihub

Genital Herpes Symptoms

Herpes Information

Genital herpes is recognized as a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the Herpes simplex virus.

Herpes simplex virus, however, is of two types, namely: Type I and II. While type II is the main cause of genital herpes, Type I, although not prevalent, can also cause it.

It is transferred from one person to another person during sexual intercourse. As a matter of fact, even if the symptoms of the virus have not begun to manifest on the carrier, it can, and will still be communicated, as long as there is sexual contact.

Product: One Step Gonorrhea Test

Product: Right Sign Gonorrhea Test

An interesting point of note, however, is, using protection like condoms or being ‘careful’ does not guarantee protection from the transmission of this infection. The reason being that while condom protects a major part of the sexual organ of the uninfected partner (mostly the man), the uncovered skin could still provide enough room for the transmission of this virus.

The disadvantage of relying on the appearance of symptoms before checking your status is that for genital herpes, the symptoms may not manifest until months or even years, after contracting the disease. Unfortunately, just like earlier mentioned, you can still transmit the infection to your subsequent sexual partners.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

What then are the Symptoms of Genital herpes?

With the alarming rate of these viral infections, it is highly important to project the symptoms to reduce its spread in Africa. Africa is still well behind the western world in the control of viral infections like these.

In almost all cases of genital herpes, all or some of the following symptoms have always presented themselves, depending on the type of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) involved, and the duration of contracting the infection before treatment begins.

The skin around the genital areas of an infected person is, mostly, cracked and dry and/or the evidence of reddened areas around the genitals that present, initially, without itching, pain, or any tingling sensation.

Read More: Genital Herpes Overview

Genital Herpes – if left untreated

If still left untreated, small blisters begin to crack up into painful sores. It is usually noticed around the sexual organ or anal region – including the butt. Also, it could be discovered on the inner thighs close to the perineum, even the lower or rectal area.

Occasionally, the blisters could present inside the urinary tube called the urethra – a tube enclosed within the body of the female and the penis of the male that serves as a conduit for carrying urine outside the body.

Subsequently, there is painful urination, especially seen in females. This occurs as a result of the open sores around and on the urinary opening.

Conclusively, below, is a list of profound symptoms common to both genders:

  • Cracked, raw, or red areas around the genitalia without pain, itching, or tingling;
  • Tingling sensation or itching around the genitalia or anus;
  • Infected persons also suffer headaches as a result of this infection;
  • Backaches can be very frequent with infected persons;
  • Flu-like symptoms also occur in infected persons. These symptoms are fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. 
  • Headaches;
  • Fever, incessant fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes are also symptoms that manifest from this condition.

There is no cure for general herpes, but the symptoms can be lessened and prevented with treatment.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

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