Are People Living With Herpes More Susceptible to HIV?
“The risk of contracting herpes increases by up to 4 times for people living with herpes”
As a matter of fact, sexually transmitted infections tend to diminish the body’s ability to fight against foreign agents. Therefore, when you’re already infected with a virus, your body is more susceptible to other infections. The same holds true in case of Herpes – HIV as well.
Many studies show that the risk of contracting herpes increases by up to 4 times for people living with herpes, provided he / she is exposed to HIV. It is essential to bear in mind that a person who isn’t exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus isn’t like to get infected. Sexually transmitted diseases that are known to cause open sores, such as herpes or Syphilis make it easier for the virus to get into the body.
What happens when you’re having an infection?
When you have an infection, the immune system produces disease – fighting cells known as macrophages. The HIV tends to bind with these cells in mucus membranes in the anus or vagina, eventually making their way into the blood stream. In case you have an infection in the genital area, macrophages are concentrated there, giving HIV a better opportunity to enter into the body.
People that have both HIV and herpes infections are likely to transmit HIV to people they’re sexually involved with. The presence of the herpes simplex virus tends to increase the HIV viral load (increasing the presence of HIV in the body). As people with HIV have a compromised immune system, they experience more severe and longer herpes outbreaks. This may increase the chances of transmission of the virus.
How can you avoid transmitting / getting the virus?
Regardless of whether or not you’re infected with herpes, people that have HIV are advised to follow the below mentioned guidelines:
- Using condoms or dental dams during anal, vaginal or oral sex.
- Refraining from having sex in the event of an outbreak.
- Getting tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Besides, encouraging your partner to get tested and treated.
- Reducing the number of sex partner and speaking with them about their previous relationships and medical history.
While both herpes and HIV are incurable, they can certainly be treated, thanks to the inception of antiviral drugs. If you think you might have been exposed of any of these viruses, it is better to get yourself tested immediately. On the other hand, you may also consider joining a specialist herpes dating site where you can not only learn more about the STD but also find like – minded people that wish to find a companion living with Herpes or HIV.