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Facts on genital Herpes

DR BOIMA
HEALTH ISSUES

The New Year has just begun and most of us have set resolutions in a bid to improve our livelihood in general. One such resolution maybe to strive for a better and clean healthy lifestyle.

A better health does not only mean ensuring a balanced diet and exercising more. Staying out of trouble and getting our regular health checks would also help such resolution.  Sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) are something that can affect all of us if precautions are not taken. This week the focus will be on genital herpes which is quite common in our society and can be a pain in the ass (literally!)

What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that may be caused by both herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

How common is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is very common and anyone who is sexually active can get it. More than 1 in every 6 people aged 14 to 49 years are reported to have genital herpes in the United States.

Is there a link between genital herpes and oral herpes?

Yes. Oral herpes (cold sores) is caused by HSV-1 and up to 80% of the population has this virus. However, HSV-1 can be spread from the mouth to the genitals through  HYPERLINK "https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/stdfact-stdriskandoralsex.htm" oral sex and cause genital herpes. This is why about 40% of genital herpes cases are caused by HSV-1.

How is genital herpes acquired?

One can get genital herpes by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the infection. Most people with herpes may not have symptoms (asymptomatic carriers) and therefore will not be aware that they have it. 50% of people getting herpes get it from partners who are unaware that they have it.

NB: – One will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools, or from touching objects around such as silverware, soap, or towels.

How can one reduce the risk of getting genital herpes?

The only way to avoid STIs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex altogether. If one is sexually active, the following precautions can be taken to lower the chances of getting genital herpes;
long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been cleared off STIs
Using condoms
If one is in a relationship with a person already infected with genital herpes, the following can be done to avoid transmitting the virus to the other;
Partner can take an anti-herpes medication every day (should be discussed with the Doctor)
Avoid having vaginal, anal, or oral sex when the infected partner has an outbreak of herpes symptoms

Can genital herpes affect pregnancy?

Herpes infection can be passed from the mother to the unborn child before birth but is more commonly passed during delivery. This can lead to a potentially deadly infection in the baby called neonatal herpes. There is also evidence that suggests that genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage, or could make it more likely for one to deliver their baby prematurely. So it is important to avoid getting herpes during pregnancy. If it happens that a pregnant woman gets herpes, she should be regular in her antenatal care visits and receive anti-herpes medicine towards the end of the pregnancy and choose an appropriate mode of delivery with her Doctor.

How do I know if I have genital herpes?

As mentioned earlier, most people who have genital herpes have no symptoms, or have very mild symptoms that may be mistaken for another skin condition, such as a pimple, irritation or ingrown hair. Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. These symptoms are sometimes called “having an outbreak.”

The first time someone has an outbreak they may also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, or swollen glands. People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they are infected with HSV-2. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although the infection stays in the body for the rest of one’s life, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time. If one notice any of the symptoms mentioned or if they are present in their partner, they should be examined by the Doctor.

How is genital herpes diagnosed?

The healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at the patient’s symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore(s) and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies.

Can genital herpes be cured?

Unfortunately there is no cure for genital herpes. However, there are medicines that can prevent or shorten outbreaks. One of these anti-herpes medicines can be taken daily, and make it less likely for one to pass the infection on to their sexual partner(s).

What happens if one does not get treated?

Genital herpes can cause very painful and burning sores that can cause a lot of discomfort for the sufferer. When one has sores, it is easier to shed the virus and transfer herpes to another part of one’s body, such as the eyes or infect their partner. Untreated genital herpes can also have detrimental effects on the pregnancy and unborn child. So it is very vital to ensure one gets treatment after genital herpes has been diagnosed.

Can I still have sex if I have herpes?

Absolutely! However, if one has herpes, s/he should notify his/her sex partner(s) so that they also get treated. Using condoms may help lower this risk though it will not get rid of the risk completely. Since having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase one’s risk of spreading the disease to their partner, sex can be avoided during these “outbreaks”.

Herpes infection can cause sores or breaks in the skin or lining of the mouth, vagina, and rectum providing a way for HIV to enter the body. Even without visible sores, having genital herpes increases the number of CD4 cells (the cells that HIV targets for entry into the body) found in the lining of the genitals. When a person has both HIV and genital herpes, the chances are higher that HIV will be spread to an HIV-uninfected sex partner during sexual contact with their partner’s mouth, vagina, or rectum.

For comments or questions please email agboima@yahoo.com

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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