Herpes

Genital herpes is a common STI caused by two types of viruses – herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

Most people with genital herpes do not know they have it because they have no symptoms or very mild symptoms. There is currently no cure for herpes, just medication to manage it.

Risks
  • can spread through sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) without a condom with a partner who has the infection, especially during times of an outbreak of herpes sores
  • can also spread from contact with herpes sores that a condom doesn’t cover, or the skin can release the virus from areas that do not have a visible herpes sore, so while condoms are essential for lowering your chances of getting herpes, they may not fully protect you
  • it is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes
Symptoms
  • Most people with genital herpes do not know they have it because they have no symptoms or very mild symptoms. that may be mistaken for other skin conditions
  • herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth
  • blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal
  • flu-like symptoms can occur during the first outbreak – fever, body aches or swollen glands
  • repeated outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first
Testing
  • can be detected by a healthcare provider looking at the sores, or taking a sample from a sore to be tested
  • if there are no sores, a blood test may be used
Treatment
  • there is no cure for herpes, but there are medications to prevent or shorten outbreaks
  • anti-herpes medication to make it less likely to pass the infection on to sex partners
Source and more info: CDC – Herpes
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