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HERPES: the Herpes simplex virus belongs to the group of large DNA viruses that includes varicella-zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus.  

Herpes lesions are painful, recurring blisters that break and form crusty sores, shedding millions of viruses that are extremely contagious.  The disease can promote cervical cancer in women and can kill infants who contract it from their mothers at birth.  Half the victims of neonatal herpes die, and half the survivors develop serious brain damage or blindness.  

Genital herpes is usually caused by the Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2).  However, it is increasingly caused by the virus that causes cold sores, HSV-1.  HSV-2, in turn, can be responsible for blisters on the mouth.

To prevent spreading the disease, infected people need to be able to recognize a recurrence when it hits and must avoid sexual contact while lesions are present.  The viruses may emerge before the blisters do, but there is often a feeling of tingling, itching, or general ill health that warns of an impending outbreak.

HERPES SIMPLEX: either of two diseases caused by a herpes virus and marked in one case by groups of watery blisters on the skin or mucous membranes (as of the mouth and lips) above the waist and in the other by such blisters on the genitals.

HERPES ZOSTER (SHINGLES): an acute viral inflammation of the sensory ganglia of spinal and cranial nerves associated with a vesicular eruption and neuralgic pain and caused by reactivation of the herpes virus causing chicken pox.

CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT: There is no effective conventional cure for genital herpes.  Symptoms can be reduced by an expensive drug called acyclovir (Zovirax), at least on the first attack.  It is sometimes given orally 3 to 5 times daily for people with frequent recurrences, and topically up to every 3 hours.  This can reduce the frequency by up to 75%, but long-term safety and effectiveness is unknown.  WARNING! Acyclovir should not be used by women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant.  Anesthetics are not recommended for herpes, even though the lesions may be very painful.  The lesions need to be kept clean and dry, and anesthetics counteract the desired drying effect.
NATURAL TREATMENT: L-lysine is the most popular treatment, but it addresses only the symptoms.  Deseret Biologicals' homeopathic remedy Herpes Simplex may actually clear the disease.  Expect a particularly bad outbreak which is a good sign.  The virus, which sits on the nerve endings, is being cleared from the body.  The longer the disease has been suppressed with drugs, the worse the outbreak is likely to be.  If this treatment doesn't work, the problem is likely to be due to a staph/strep infection inside the herpes lesions.  The staph/strep should be treated.