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Offline matssundin

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Herpes
« on: 03/12/2002 15:18:15 »
Hi!

In anyone's opinion, will there ever be a complete cure for the herpes virus?


 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #1 on: 03/12/2002 19:12:53 »
Good question.

There are many different types of herpesvirus which infect humans and animals, although by 'herpes' most people are usually referring to herpes simplex virus, the agent responsible for cold sores and genital herpes. Other members of this family include chicken pox (varicella zoster), Epstein-Barr virus (which causes glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis) and Cytomegalovirus (which also produces a mononucleosis like picture).

The feature common to all of the members of this family is the ability to establish a lifelong latent infection in the host, during which the virus lies dormant, hiding from the reaches of the immune system inside our own cells. From time to time the virus reactivates, making the individual infectious, and sometimes symptomatic again.

Put simply, herpes is for life.

In the case of HSV (herpes simplex virus), 90% of the population are latently infected in this way, although only 10-15% of individuals regularly succumb to cold sores which occur when the virus reactivates, as described above. The latent virus is harboured by the nerves which supply the face, and during a reactivation it travels down these nerves to the skin where it produces a cold sore. In the case of genital herpes, following contact with an infectious individual the virus latently infects the nerves supplying the perineal region so that reactivations produce the equivalent of cold sores on the genitals.

So how can it be treated ?

When the virus is active (i.e. not latent) it responds rapidly to treatment with drugs like aciclovir (Zovirax) which work by preventing the virus from copying its DNA, hence preventing virus spread.

The problem comes with how to tackle latency because the latent virus exists only as a piece of DNA which sits inside the nucleus of the cell, alongside our own DNA. As such, the only way to destroy the virus, at least at the moment, is to destroy the cell that contains it.

However, research is now shedding light on the cellular 'wake up calls' that reactivate the virus from its latent state and cause it to begin making new infectious virus. A better understanding of these signals will probably lead to the development of new drugs that, a bit like molecular ear-plugs, can selectively block the signals that the virus responds to, essentially preventing the viral DNA from hearing the chemical alarm that signals it to wake up so that even though we remain infected, the virus remains dormant...

To learn more about viruses and how they cause disease, and about herpesviruses in particular, I recommend virologist Dr. Stacey Efstathiou's interview, which can be found at :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/html/shows/2002.05.26.htm

TNS
« Last Edit: 03/12/2002 19:16:11 by NakedScientist »
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #2 on: 09/05/2003 14:04:31 »
i've never had a coldsore, does this mean i don't have the herpes virus?

Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem...
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #3 on: 09/05/2003 22:04:59 »
My sister gets coldsores without fail every winter, especially at exam time. Her poor boyfriends catch it from her all the time.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #4 on: 10/05/2003 14:02:45 »
That's what you call the 'kiss of death' !!

In answer to the question above (exodus), stuyding the population shows that 80-90% of people are latently infected with HSV-1 (cold-sore herpes), the majority of them acquiring it as babies from parents kissing all over them. The virus sits as a piece of DNA hidden inside the nerve cells which supply the face. Of these people about 10-15% are known as "reactivators" and suffer frequent, recurrent lesions (recrudescences) which are highly infectious whilst they have them (hence the experiences of quantum cats' boyfriends) since the blisters are laden with viral particles. It may also be possible for people to shed the virus asymptomatically so they are infectious yet do not realise it.

Quantum's sister should be careful because people have been (successfully) taken to court for knowingly infecting others with herpes, albeit usually genital herpes in those instances. Because herpes is for life 'new acquisitions' sue for GBH. Also, oral sex is a definite No No if you think that you might have a coldsore since HSV-1 can be readily transmitted to the genital region where it sets up latent infection in the nerves supplying that area and produces painful (infectious) cold sores 'down there', albeit with a lower frequency than HSV-2, the (until recently) more usual cause of genital herpes.

Ouch.

Chris
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #5 on: 10/05/2003 14:15:30 »
What do you call a roman soldier with Herpes?



A Lesionary..... Bruhahahahaha

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #6 on: 11/05/2003 15:22:19 »
hehe, funny ^_^
 

Offline chris

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #7 on: 11/05/2003 16:18:52 »
So, how much for us not to start tracing quantum's sister's boyfriends and tell them where they got their, ahem, lesions ?

C
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #8 on: 11/05/2003 21:54:15 »
I'm already on the case... I'll take cash or you can pay by credit card.

Essentia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem...
 

Offline chris

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #9 on: 22/05/2003 19:03:11 »
I saw THIS from medical journal 'The Lancet', and thought of Quantum Cat's sister (and her herpes) !

NEARLY 10% OF YOUNG MEN COULD HAVE CHLAMYDIA (p 1792)

UK authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight how the prevalence of chlamydia infection in young men could be substantially higher than previous estimates--with possibly up to 10% affected by this sexually transmitted infection.

Chlamydia infection can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women, although serious outcomes in men are rare. Previous research has suggested that half of people are unaware that they have chlamydia infection, and screening among young women is now encouraged.

Gordon Scott from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, UK, and colleagues investigated the prevalence of chlamydia in around 800 army recruits (the majority of whom were aged younger than 25 years) undergoing basic training near Edinburgh. All men agreed to have their urine screened for the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis as part of their routine medical examination. The study was undertaken as part of Healthy Respect, a Scottish health-awareness programme promoting positive sexual health and the avoidance of unwanted pregnancies.

9.8% of the men tested positive for chlamydia, of whom nearly 90% had no symptoms, a far higher proportion than previously reported. Infected men were no more sexually active than the average young male population, reporting on average one sexual partner over the previous six months.

Gordon Scott comments: "Our finding that the rate of asymptomatic infections was higher than that usually cited (50%) shows the importance of involving men as well as women in opportunistic testing for chlamydia. We will continue to seek settings for testing men in other studies as part of Healthy Respect."

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception - Groucho Marx
 

Offline viva

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #10 on: 20/06/2003 11:33:44 »
Can I go swimming with cold sore?
It's treated for five days and there's still a crust.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #11 on: 23/06/2003 10:08:08 »
Like chicken pox, which is also caused by a member of the herpesvirus family, herpes simplex lesions or cold sores (on the face at least) cease to be infectious once they have dried out and crusted over. There is no reason why you should not go swimming, at a swimming pool at least. The chlorine in the water will rapidly denature any viable viral particles left hanging around.

Just don't snog anyone at the pool.

Chris

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #12 on: 24/06/2003 03:49:00 »
Snog???  What the heck is a snog?
 

Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #13 on: 24/06/2003 04:48:56 »
I'm not British, but I believe it's, ahem, like, umm, shag. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #14 on: 24/06/2003 09:09:35 »
nah, a snog is kissing... often deep kissing. Where i come from in essex, you should see some of them at it... tonsil tickling central, looks like they are gonna eat each other!

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #15 on: 24/06/2003 15:22:41 »
Hahaha!!! I'll remember that. I love linguistics. I myself only speak a little spanish and a little American Sign Language. I would love to be more fluent in any languages. I'm fascinated by the different terms from different regions. Although it's the same language, the "slangs" must really trip someone up trying to learn the language. I remember when someone told me that in England, after dinner, NEVER say you're stuffed. That's a common term here. I thought that was hilarious.
Someone should start a slang web site just for comparisons in terms and their meanings.

Ok, gonna go find some snoggin'

Ronnie
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #16 on: 25/06/2003 18:15:02 »
Slang does make for some funny moments.  My aunt is a very proper British lady.  She was at a dinner with a group of Americans and one fellow was quite depressed.  She cheerfully told him to "keep his pecker (nose) up" and was horrified when she discovered why there were howls of laughter.  I imagine her faux pas cheered him up though.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #17 on: 25/06/2003 18:50:42 »
There a few inter-continental 'translational difficulties' aren't there.

For instance, in the USA women happily refer in public to their 'fannies' (meaning backsides) whilst here in the UK a fanny is a colloquialism for a vagina ! In Australia, on the hand hand, women make no bones about commenting on each others' thongs, referring of course to their 'flip flops', whilst at the same time merrily asking each other if they have any durex handy (meaning sellotape) !

Anyone aware of any more ?

Chris

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #18 on: 25/06/2003 22:55:26 »
That's great! I'm sure she was quite horrified. I'll have to share that story. It made me laugh and coffee almost came out of my pecker (nose).
Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Think I'll do some intercontinental slang research. I'll get back with my findings.

Ronnie
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #19 on: 26/06/2003 20:52:54 »
Ha ha ha, Ronnie, I hope it wasn't so hot that you hurt yourself.

Chris, I've heard flip flops referred to as thongs, but what is durex?

When I was 13 my uncle came from England to visit.  As he was leaving to go to the local convenience store he asked "do you fancy out from the store".  I told him "no, you just walk out".
« Last Edit: 26/06/2003 21:11:33 by Donnah »
 

Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #20 on: 26/06/2003 23:46:43 »
I know of a brand of condoms called Durex.
Does fancying look different from walking? I think I may start fancying when I go out. Running must be really fancy. [:p]
 

Offline bezoar

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #21 on: 14/07/2003 15:18:14 »
In Australia, intercourse is referred to as "rooting", so, don't go to a sports event to root for your team.

Bezoar
 

Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #22 on: 14/07/2003 16:19:35 »
I suppose that specialized plumbers, as in "Roto-Rooter" are not called that in Austrailia. If they are, I'd bet that they're real popular.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #23 on: 14/07/2003 21:23:07 »
call roto-rooters if into masochism...

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
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Offline Donnah

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #24 on: 17/07/2003 02:59:55 »
Is a woman who "roots" for her team in Australia a groupie?
« Last Edit: 17/07/2003 03:00:26 by Donnah »
 

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Re: Herpes
« Reply #24 on: 17/07/2003 02:59:55 »

 

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