Genital Herpes in Men
The typical presentation of Herpes in men can be seen in the form of blisters or bumps in the genital area or in the anus. The man can experience the symptoms of the virus even before the bumps or blisters appear. The skin on the genitals becomes reddened and irritated before the blisters begin to appear. At the beginning, the sores might even bleed or ooze fluid. Later this stops and they start to scab or dry. After the sores heal, there are usually no other symptoms till the next outbreak of herpes lesions. This might occur after a few weeks or even after some months or years. In some cases, there is only a primary outbreak after the man is infected and the virus remains dormant forever.
Herpes in men can also be seen in the form of sores on the scrotum, in the thighs and in the anal area. The use of a condom alone is not enough to provide hundred percent protection to another person with whom the man has sexual contact. The bumps or sores can also be seen in the urethra of the man, which is the tube, carrying urine out of the body. Sometimes, the infected man may not have the symptoms and may not have had an outbreak for a very long time. Even in such cases, it is possible to transmit or spread the disease to others through heterosexual or homosexual contact. The infection can also spread through oral sex.
A major factor that can increase the risk of genital herpes in men involves promiscuous sexual acts. Men who have several partners in a short period of time or those who indulge in unprotected sexual activity might become transporters of the infection, even if they are not aware that they have the infection. Young men are more likely to get infected when compared to older men. Men with autoimmune diseases are also at greater risk, as their immune system is not able to fight against the HSV infection. Male babies can contract the infection through their mothers at birth, if the mother is infected with genital herpes.
Infection with HSV-1 typically causes cold sores, whereas infection with HSV-2 leads to lesions and rashes on the genital area. A child can get the HSV-1 from an infected parent through a kiss or through sharing towels, lip balms, a toothbrush and so on. HSV-2 is usually passed on through sexual contact. Those who have several sex partners and have sex at a young age are more at risk of HSV-2. Men can also get the infection by touching a herpes sore, present in another individual. They can also get the infection by coming into contact with a person who has no symptoms. This is known as asymptomatic shedding of virus.