Herpes Testing and Treatment in Malaysia


Herpes Testing and Treatment in Malaysia

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 1 and 2 are similar to other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) where they may not produce very obvious symptoms during an infection and is such easy to miss. Infections of HSV 1 usually produces cold sores whereas HSV 2 results in genital herpes. However, based on the sexual activity HSV1 can be found in the genital region and HSV2 can be found in other parts of the body. We have had a female patient who kept having blisters monthly at the location of her bra strap. We did a swab which confirmed a HSV 2 infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Herpes Infection

At times, the virus is dormant in the body and at other times it can result in blisters around the genitilia or rectum within two to seven days of infection.

Other symptoms include:

  • Itching or tingling sensation around the genital areas;
  • Pain when passing urine (usually over the open sores), most commonly in women
  • Headaches/backaches/myalgia
  • Flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes or fever

The blister may often rupture leaving painful sores or ulcers that may take months to heal. Once healed, subsequent outbreaks are usually less dramatic and often gets less over time. It does not mean one is immune to the virus as it may trigger a latent infection subsequently.

Herpes is one of those viruses that remain in the body indefinitely and we have no definitive cure to the infection. We can however, control and treat flares of the disease with medications.

How can I get the disease?

Genital herpes is transmitted through skin contact during sexual intercourse. Both HSV 1 and 2 are contagious most when lesions appear on the skin during a flare up of the virus infection. It must be noted that even if there are no symptoms, the virus is still transmissible. Moreover, the condom doesn’t really protect you from it.

How can Herpes infection be detected?

In order to confirm the presence of the virus in a person, the following steps are done:-

  • A thorough clinical examination will be done on the genital area
  • A swab sample will be taken from the sores
  • Women may need to be examined internally (pelvic exam)
  • A urine sample may or may not be taken

Most times, a visual inspection of a sore will be sufficient to tell if it is a Herpes sore but the symptoms do vary quite a bit necessitating the need for the procedures mentioned. As above mentioned, the std symptoms may not be apparent all the time and if there aren’t any symptoms, a std blood test will be done to look for traces of HSV 1 or 2 antibody in the blood. These usually appear traceable three months after an initial infection. It must be noted that these blood tests cannot differentiate between an active or latent infection. It merely confirms the presence of the virus in the body.

Can Herpes be treated?

As earlier mentioned, there is no definitive cure for HSV 1 or 2. We can however, manage the severity of a flare up using antiviral medication. With ulcers rupturing, the nodules can become quite tender. We too can manage the pain and associated symptoms of a flare up.

If there are frequent relapses, a prolonged course of antivirals is recommended to further suppress the virus.

How can Herpes be Prevented?

This is rather difficult as any skin contact with a person infected by the HSV 1 or 2 virus can potentially transmit the virus. Transmission of the virus can be significantly reduced or even avoided if sexual activity is avoided during a flare where ulcers or lesions are clearly seen. As with most herpes virus infections, if there are no symptoms, using contraception such as condoms provide very limited protection against the transmission of the virus.

It is best advised to treat any outbreak of the virus promptly. At times, suppressive therapy may be considered to further reduce the risk of transmissibility from a person who has a dormant infection.

Complications of Herpes Infections

As is the case with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it increases the chances of concurrent infections due to the suppressed immune levels from the initial infection.

HIV Transmission: It is widely known that an infection of HSV can potentiate a HIV (Human Immunodeficient Virus) by up to threefold as it facilitates the entry of HIV into the body.

In a pregnant woman, it is possible that the virus be transmitted from mother to the fetus. This increases the risk of miscarriage especially just after the first trimester. It can also directly infect the fetus and increases the chances of a congenital herpes infection in the newborn baby.

If a pregnant mother is infected at the later stages of pregnancy (last trimester), it can result in premature labour.

If you think that you have herpes and want to do a STD Test or STD Screening, please call or email us for an appointment.

We also provide treatment for Oral and Genital Herpes. Please visit our clinics for more information.

Comment on "Herpes Testing and Treatment in Malaysia"

  1. Angeline Daniel

    Hi i broke my pelvic bone few years ago and started having the herpese symptons. I get it every month before my period starts. So a doctor gave me Acyclovir Tablet of 800mg for the pain n sore to subside. But i never did go back to the doctor so whenever i have the pain in my skin i know I’m gonna hv an outbreak so i always take this medicine. Now i wanna get pregnant and i am afraid that the pills will effect my baby and the viris too. What should i do as i am so afraid and shy to see a doctor. Please help

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      I would recommend you get confirmatory testing done for herpes then just topical creams instead of oral medication for the outbreak.

  2. Clar

    Is that any possiblily that the blister will leave on the genital area even if there is no outbreak? And i dont feel the itching and pain on the blister..

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      There might other causes to the blister? If its not otherwise bothering you, perhaps just get a simple HSV screening test done and take it from there?

  3. Bnjay

    I was diagnosed with eye keratitis three months ago,and had a blister at the back of my neck.Later a month ago again there was a blister at my bra strap region.Now the blister has subsided but I’m experiencing nerve aches all over my body.Is this any indication or symptoms of having HSV 1?

  4. KAREN

    if lab result, igg for hsv1 positive, what should i do, but i have no symptom

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      There is nothing you have to do urgently or anything like that. If you have type one herpes, there is medication you can take but its not necessary. It seems like you may have a few questions regarding the diagnosis and lifestyle thereafter, I’d be happy to go over this with you if you can come in for a consultation.

  5. amiin

    i did blood test then my result show i reactive hsv 1 209.9
    i really feeling down like im gonna die and most important think i have wife and kids i dont know what iss gonna happen please help me what i should i do

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      Come on in to the clinic and we can discuss this in detail. Please call in to confirm your appointment and we’ll take it from there.

  6. Ozayr

    Hi please could you contact me. I’d like to get a herpes test done. I recently slept with a girl and don’t feel so comfortable today. It’s been 5 days since then. Is it too early to do the test?

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      The incubation period for herpes can be up to 4 weeks. If you have never been tested before, please come on by the clinic at your earliest convenience and we can assess you and for testing if necessary then.

  7. anon

    My girlfirend tested positive to hsv2 before i met her and she did not tell me. she had a test recently and I made her show me as suspected something else. shock to me she showed hsv2 159. I have never had a std in my life. so just got tested and shocked to find I have hsv1 109. never had any signs not someone that sleeps around. is it possible the test is wrong? ie false positive? is it possible they got the test wrong and should show hsv2? I was itchy when i went for the test, but doc said it was just heat rash. even made him look again when given the results and said no signs of herpes? She is negative for hsv1. very confused now? never had a cold sore in my life either.

  8. Sss

    I have herpes since early this year and is planning to get pregnant at the end of next year. Can i still deliver my baby safely or is it advisable not to get pregnant.

    • Dr. Kaarthig

      Sure, there is no absolute contraindication for pregnancy. Please follow up with your antenatal care practitioner for this though.

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