Dr. Afriye Amerson is a Board certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist. During her training at George Washington Medical School, Dr. Amerson also studied Eastern and African healing arts. She became a Reiki Master, and practices holistic healing as well as traditional Western medicine.
In private practice for the past 15 years, Dr. Amerson has encountered a wide spectrum of issues facing women’s health & families. These include adolescent gynecology, surgical management of fibroids & ovarian tumors, contraceptive counseling, management of menopause, prolapse of female organs, urinary disorders, prenatal care & delivery, counseling on sexual health & wellness, marriage, depression, grief, & HIV, female cancers, and infertility.
Dr. Amerson has become a well-known speaker engaging audiences of churches, civic organizations, youth mentoring organizations, and corporations and is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She serves on the Scientific Board of Advisors for the Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood Banking.
She has appeared as a health expert on The Montel Williams Show, The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet, The Tyra Banks Show, local New Jersey News and PBS as well as on other media. She has been honored by the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, the NJ state blood bank (Community Blood Services), and the Urban League Guild of Bergen County.
QUESTIONS TEXTED FROM LISTENERS THIS MORNING:
Q: How does Herpes relate to mononucleosis?
A: Mono is Epstein Barr virus which is different than Herpes Simplex Virus.
Q: Can HSV1 turn into HSV2?
A: No, but HSV 1 can cause genital lesions
Q: If you’re A-sympathetic how do you know how to spot it?
A: Without symptoms, a person who suspects genital herpes infection can have blood tests for the virus.
Q: What are the symptoms of the outbreak?
A: Symptoms include vesicles which can erupt into ulcers. Associated symptoms can include fever, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, and flu-like symptoms.
Q: Doctor what is the difference between a cold sore and herpes?
A: A cold sore is HSV1, which is herpes simplex virus.
Q: If you have herpes and give birth to a son, how do you know if he has the herpes virus too?
A: Newborns are evaluated for symptoms and can be tested by blood work.
Q: Does herpes cause premature birth?
A: Yes, untreated herpes in pregnancy is associated with a two-fold risk of preterm birth.
Q: How long can the virus live in your body before having the initial outbreak?
A: Some persons never have an outbreak, although infected. Infection is lifelong. Outbreaks can happen at any point in one’s lifetime.
Q: If a person with herpes drinks out of a glass from the restaurant, is the dishwasher sufficient for removing any bacteria left on the glass. I always ask for a straw!
A: Genital herpes requires direct human contact for transmission.
Q: Is herpes only transmitted when you have unprotected sex during an outbreak?
A: No, transmission can occur during asymptomatic shedding and during the prodrome prior to the actual outbreak.
Q: I used to get the lesion on my lip, but I have not had it in many years. Was that herpes?
A: That symptom likely represented a mild outbreak of HSV1, and your body would develop antibodies to the virus, which can be detected by blood work.
Q: If you don’t have an outbreak and you go get tested, will it show that you’re positive? It was told it will not show in blood work. Is that true?
A: Blood tests are not 100% sensitive (can have false negative of a person who is infected) however, generally, blood work will detect the infection regardless of an outbreak.
Q: Is there a test for genital herpes?
A: A genital outbreak is tested by applying a cotton swab to the infected lesion and sending this to the laboratory for herpes simplex testing.
Q: I have never had herpes but when I was pregnant, my doctor told me I was exposed to someone who had herpes because I tested positive for the antibodies. She had me take medicine during the rest of my pregnancy. My question is, Do I now have herpes and am I contagious?
A: Many people have asymptomatic infection, and the likelihood is that you were infected and can transmit the virus through the asymptomatic shedding of the virus.
Q: If a person has a canker sore in their mouth or a cold sore on their lip, do they also have genital herpes? What if they have never had an outbreak in their genital area?
A: The oral sores are a form of the Herpes Simplex Virus. A genital outbreak can occur, but is not the only manifestation of infection with HSV types 1 or 2.
Q: Can herpes cause vaginal scarring? Can it contribute to painful sex?
A: Yes, scarring can occur. The lesions can cause intense pain with or without sex. Asymptomatic shedding does occur and can result in transmission.
Q: For the doctor. …my 11-year-old granddaughter has had cold sores on numerous occasions. Does this mean that her mother may have transmitted it to her?
A: Her symptoms sound like oral lesions, which may have been transmitted by anyone during oral contact.
Q: For those who develop genital warts, how can they get rid of them. Also, can they cause cancer if not treated?
A: Genital warts are not genital herpes. There are many treatments for this form of Human Papilloma Virus, which is low risk, generally not leading to cancer.
Q: Can a certain type of condom trigger herpes-like symptoms?
A: There are many forms of genital irritation which are similar to, but not genital herpes. Lesions can be tested.
Q: Are you saying anyone with a cold sore has herpes simplex virus?
A: The cold sores may reflect infection with HSV1 and can be tested.
Q: It’s my understanding that condoms do not protect against the virus. If that’s true, how do you protect yourself and how can one tell if someone is infected?
A: If shedding of the virus or lesions is in genital areas other than those covered by a condom, then transmission can occur. Those known to be infected should not engage in intercourse during times of symptoms and can take suppressive therapy to reduce the risk of transmission.
Q: Is any type of mouth sore also herpes?
A: There are many bacterial and viral sores which can occur in the mouth. The ulcer is generally HSV1 but can be tested during the outbreak.
Q: My niece has herpes and was wondering if there is anything she can purchase over the counter for flare-ups.
A: No, she needs to see a healthcare provider to be prescribed an antiviral medication.
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