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Anal Herpes Infection: Things to Learn Beyond The Basics

7 Mins read
  • Anal herpes sores are the reasons for intense pain in most cases.
  • 2 to 20 days are the time frame herpes virus usually takes to display symptoms.
  • Herpes a global epidemic with approximately 2/3 of the global population under 50 are carriers of HSV.

Anal Herpes is one of the common infections that occur sexually, often by the anal intrusion of the herpes simplex virus.

Two types of Herpes Viruses may affect Anus and may put you on risk to develop Anal Herpes sores. The evolution of perianal sores accompanied by anal pain is also a common occurrence. 

Typically categorized by the area it has affected, Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 are highly epidemical entities.

The infection of Herpes on Anus is typically misunderstood with Hemorrhoids, Donovanosis, Chancroid, Human Papillomavirus, and Syphilis because they all present some identical clinical traits. 

Anal Herpes – The Definition

The Human Herpes simplex virus makes people vulnerable to develop a range of different infections. When it affects anus, the infection is termed Anal Herpes. This infection is venereal disease, generally acquired through sexual intercourse (Anal Sex) from someone already affected with herpes. 

Anal herpes sores are the reasons for intense pain in most cases. The severe eruption of ulcer causes unbearable pain and is quite debilitating in nature.

However, all herpes instances don’t manifest symptoms and may remain latent for good. The carriers of latent Herpes are super spreaders who distribute herpes unknowingly to the community.

The World Health Organisation evaluated approximately 495.5 million individuals aged 15 to 49 years with genital herpes till 2016. With that large number of global herpes cases, the chances to contract with anal herpes is super high.

Evidently, anal herpes infection is self-limiting and resolves after antiviral therapy. The problem with this infection is never-ending episodes. The virus remains unbeaten throughout life and erupts disturbing symptoms from time to time.

A Case View – Better Perspective

A 22-year young man presented to the hospital with some clinical features like perianal redness, anal pain, and rectal bleeding. The patient was experiencing these symptoms for 5 days. Further examination revealed minor thickening of the rectal.

The patient was suspected of Proctitis and given painkillers with antibiotics and discharged from the hospital. 

Three days later, the patient again admitted to the hospital with severe anal sores and pain. The perianal sores seemed worsening than what the doctors observed earlier. 

Red bumps and ulcers formed during this time period. The physical examination pointed towards Anal Herpes hence Herpes Test was done. The diagnosis confirmed it as a herpes case. 

The patient was treated with antivirals and analgesics. It took nearly 7 days to resolve the symptoms and anal herpes sores. 

This case study points out that the butt herpes can be easily misunderstood with other ailments that present similar manifestations.

How Contagion Is It & How Does Anal Herpes Spread?

Herpes has now become a global epidemic with approximately two-thirds of the global population under the age of 50 are carriers of herpes simplex virus type 2.

This indicates that the Human Herpes Virus is incredibly contagious in nature. Not only preliminary but, modern studies found humans to be highly vulnerable to get the contamination of herpes strain. People with latent infection of herpes spread this disease way more than people with active lesions. 

Herpes other than anal can spread myriads of ways including touching a cold sore, using contaminated utensils, kissing, and several other ways. But, in case of butt herpes infection, the single most way to catch the HSV is performing Anal Sex with Genital Herpes patients. 

In a rare case, the toilet seat you use can give you this stigmatic infection. 

Many studies claimed that the patient of genital herpes is always contagious to some degree.

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Anal Herpes Symptoms: The Recognition Factors

The Anal invasion of Human Herpesvirus 2 exhibits some characteristic symptoms at anal and surroundings. However, the signs and symptoms don’t appear immediately after contamination. The virus requires time to replicate its DNA sufficiently enough to cause symptoms. 

2 to 20 days are the time frame herpes virus usually takes to display symptoms. The first-ever occurrence of anal herpes prompts severe symptoms but, with the passing time, it tends to be more benign.

The prodrome of butt herpes may start with itching and tingling sensation around anal.

You can expect to have intense pain that may be radiating in nature. The pain often lasts for long until an apt treatment regimen is followed. 

Herpes bumps and perianal sores are some attentional clinical features that can be seen in most Anal Herpes Cases. Bumps could either be red or white with fluid-filled blisters. 

Many patients with herpes on buttock reported having experienced symptoms like ulcers, perianal bleeding, sores, and change in bowel movement. 

While the immune system tries to fight off with the infection the body’s temperature may go up which results in fever. 

These are herpes on buttock symptoms that can slightly help recognize the symptoms. But, as we earlier reckoned that many other infections can copy the symptoms of butt herpes hence it is advised to get tested for this pesky infection. 

Anal Herpes: Testing and Diagnosis 

The correct diagnosis of Anal Herpes infection is done by conducting a test. Sometimes the physician may analyze the perianal herpes cold sores to detect the herpes infection. But, sometimes it is hard for the physician to correctly detect butt herpes by just physical examination hence certain tests are recommended. 

Most of the test for herpes is done by taking a swab from sores, blisters or ulcer and then presenting it to the laboratory where it is assessed for virus presence.

Your doctor can also insert a syringe in your vein to take the sample of blood for detecting the virus’s presence. 

The following are the listicle of tests for the herpes virus. 

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR Test)
  1. Viral Culture Test
  1. Blood Test
  1. Cytology Test 
  1. Immunofluorescence assay (Anti- Body detection test)
  1. Serological Test
  1. Lumbar puncture test (Suspect of the brain or spinal cord herpes infection)

Anal Herpes Treatment Approaches

Is your anal herpes test reported you positive for Herpes Virus? If you are a carrier of anal herpes virus then a physician may put you on antivirals, painkillers, and other supportive medications. 

Antivirals, the likes of Acyclovir, Zovirax, Valacyclovir are effective enough to heal the symptoms and decrease the viral load. But, complete eradication of HSV from the body is impossible for these medicines. Scientists have gone through a long journey to develop a herpes cure but, unfortunately, the cure is yet seeming a hard nut to crack for medical science. 

Your physician may ask your medical history before starting the anal herpes treatment. During the treatment, the aim of the physician is to curb the severe symptoms and miseries it has presented in you. 

It is likely to prescribe you medications like Acyclovir and analgesic to manage symptoms. You may have to take prescribed medication until your lesion and ulcers are completely healed. 

Herpes antivirals used as a preventive method to prevent subsequent outbreaks. Hence, doctors may ask you to take it on a regular basis. Longer treatment with these medicines known as suppressive therapy.

In a severe case of Herpes Bumps on perianal, the physician may intravenously inject antivirals directly to control the virus. 

Herpes Virus is super contagious, but, with the initiation of the treatment, it becomes less infectious. 

The physicians need to commence the anal herpes treatment as soon as they diagnose the infection. It will help prevent the transmission of the virus in the community. 

Over a period of time, the human body develops antibodies against herpes strain which enables the immune system to fight better with subsequent outbreaks. For that reason, the herpes virus is unable to cause a severe infection as it does with the primary one.

Preventive Measures For Butt Herpes

Anal Herpes is a form of Sexually Transmitted Infection that normally spreads through sexual intercourse (Anal Sex) with an infected individual. 

Abstinence from Anal Sex is the best way you can opt to keep this pesky infection at bay. Or you can practice for safer sex to make sure you don’t catch this infection. 

Wearing condoms can substantially cut the anal invasion of HSV but, this does not protect you 100 percent.

The more you have sexual partners higher the chance of contracting with Anal Herpes. Limiting your sexual partner is definitely a better move to cut your chance of this infection. 

If your partner has any active lesions on the genital, avoid sexual contacts. Some studies warned us that it can even spread if there is no active lesion present. 

Keep in mind that no vaccine is yet discovered that prevents the occurrence of this infection. 

Some Common FAQs about Anal Herpes

Is Herpes Always Contagious?

For sure, it is always contagious in nature even if a person is not having any symptoms. Many people who are carriers of herpes don’t know that they are herpes victims. They are unknowingly transmitting the infection to the people.

What can be mistaken for Herpes?

Various sexually transmitted infections can be mistaken for herpes. The most common are syphilis, contact dermatitis, Donovanosis, and Chancroid. 

What is the first sign for Herpes?

The prodromal sign may appear after the 3-14 days of herpes invasion You. may notice flu-like symptoms with tingling and burning sensation around the infected body part as the first sign for herpes infection. However, the occurrence of symptoms differs from person to person.

What happens if you don’t treat Herpes?

In a very rare condition, Herpes may turn into a killing disease typically in a baby or the development of herpes encephalitis. If you don’t treat Herpes, you may experience intensified and annoying conditions. Constant herpes breakouts usually appear.
It is advised to start the treatment as soon as you experience herpes symptoms. 

Does Herpes Get Worse Overtime?

The primary herpes infection brings out a severe occurrence of herpes symptoms but, over time, it tends to become less severe. This is because, the human body makes strong antibodies against this strain, thus, fights better with the infection later on. 

Can You Pop Herpes?

Herpes is contagious in nature, popping up the blisters can make you more contagious to others. It will bring you to the intense pain and may take time to heal the sore. It is recommended not to pop Herpes blisters.

Can a man test negative for herpes and still have it?

Despite various diagnostic methods available, your result can be false. Not all the time anal herpes tests present precise diagnosis. So yes, you can have the herpes virus in you even if you tested negative for the virus.

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