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HERPES and HIV: What’s the Difference?

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Affordable Rapid STD Testing near phoenix

When hearing the terms Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), people frequently assume they refer to the same disease because of how they are pronounced differently. That is not the case, though. Herpes and HIV are entirely different diseases, and they each have their causes and symptoms. In today’s blog, you will get a clear idea of the debate about HERPES vs HIV

HIV: What is It?

One type of virus that spreads from one person to another through sexual contact, including anal and vaginal sex, is the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV usually progresses through three distinct stages, each of which has a different set of symptoms. Here are the three stages of this STD:

  • An acute HIV infection
  • Recurring HIV
  • AIDS

HIV cannot be spread through food or drink. Therefore, the idea of oral HIV holds no truth. 

HERPES: What Is It?

A type of virus known as the herpes simplex virus spreads from one person to another through sexual contact, including oral and anal sex. Depending on where the infection and symptoms manifest, herpes is typically divided into two types. Here are two of this STD’s strains:

  • Simplex Herpes Virus (HSV-1)
  • Simplex Herpes Virus (HSV-2)

The first HSV-1 strain is a type that infected the oral cavity and causes symptoms in the mouth. Oral herpes is another common name for HSV-1. HSV-2 also referred to as Genital Herpes, is the more severe form of HSV that affects both male and female genital regions.

Is There A Link Between HIV And HERPES?

Many people wonder – can herpes turn into HIV. In reality, Herpes and HIV are caused by different viruses. Any patient who has contracted one of these viruses may pass one of these illnesses to their partners. Additionally, people who have herpes tend to be more susceptible to contracting HIV. Additionally, those who have recently received a herpes diagnosis should be tested for HIV infection as well as other related sexually transmitted diseases.

Can Herps Affect HIV Test? 

HIV testing outcomes shouldn’t be impacted by either a recent herpes outbreak or herpes antiviral medication. Some people have antibodies that cross-react with elements of the ELISA test for HIV antibodies, leading to inaccurate positive results. As a result, to confirm HIV infection, a confirmatory test that looks for particular antibodies to HIV proteins is required. 

What are the Symptoms of HERPES?

Sometimes, especially during their initial genital herpes outbreak, people can experience additional symptoms that affect their entire body, such as:


Because genital herpes never completely goes away, a person is likely to experience further outbreaks after their initial attack. Herpes outbreaks that occur later on are typically less severe.

What are the Symptoms of HIV? 

Many people experience flu-like symptoms a few weeks after contracting HIV, which may last days or weeks. Fever, headaches, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and groyne are some of these symptoms. Some individuals could be symptom-free even while having this STD

The most advanced HIV stage, AIDS, is marked by a person’s immune system is severely compromised and having trouble fending off infections and some cancers. At this point, severe symptoms start to appear, including:


Thanks to highly effective treatments that halt the virus’ progression, the majority of people with HIV in the United States do not progress to AIDS.

How are Herpes and HIV Connected?

If you are wondering “is herpes HIV” the answer is NO! But are they both linked to each other? YES! 

Genital herpes can increase the risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and it can be extremely problematic for those who already have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

HIV infection during sexual contact is more likely in people with genital herpes sores. Immune cells are concentrated in that area because when you get a sore, the body tries to heal it. HIV infects those types of cells. The likelihood of contracting HIV is high if a herpes sore comes into contact with semen, vaginal fluid, or blood.

Is There A Cure for Both Herpes, and HIV?

There are many HIV prevention strategies available today that can be used separately or in combination. HIV transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding has significantly decreased thanks to improvements in HIV treatment and prevention. This risk can be decreased to 1% or less through interventions and prevention measures. 


As they say, “prevention is always better than cure”, it is a must to get STD Testing done on a regular basis. If you live in Phoenix, Arizona,  Affordable Rapid Testing has numerous clinics and you can book an appointment at the nearest one for your screening. 

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