FROM OUR EXPERTS
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the
herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 and type 2. Most genital herpes
is caused by HSV type 2.
Most people have no or minimal symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2
infection. When symptoms do occur, they usually appear as one or
more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters
break, leaving ulcers or tender sores that may take up to four
weeks to heal. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or
Although the infection can stay in the body forever, the number
of outbreaks usually decreases over a period of years. You can pass
genital herpes to someone else even when you experience no
How common is genital herpes?
About 45 million Americans, age 12 and older have genital
herpes. Its estimated that up to one million people become
infected each year. Genital Herpes (HSV-2) is more common in women
How can I get genital herpes?
Herpes is a virus that can be...
About once or
twice a month, I see a young male in his late teens or early 20s who come to me
to evaluate a bump or lesion on his penis. Interestingly, many of these men
have sought evaluation before and STILL don't know what they have.
Here are the
most common causes of this symptom:
grouped lesions on the penis that are painful? Think about genital herpes as the cause. These lesions can also occur on the buttocks or anal area. The
initial outbreak may be associated with fever. Herpes is the most common STD in
and most genital lesions in men are herpes.
Have a bump
that looks like a wart or has a cauliflower appearance? You may have genital
warts. Warts are caused by certain strains of human papillomavirus --
different ones than those that cause cervical cancer in women. In most cases,
the warts do not cause symptoms, but occasionally they can burn, itch or be
tender. They can also produce a discharge. The lesions may be tan, pink or
He came in concerned about an itchy, burning rash on his penis. Silently, I could tell he thought it may be herpes . And I thought so too. When I told him that I too suspected herpes and that we needed to test him for the condition, he silently agreed. I told him about the test and about how we’d address the herpes if that is what he had. I knew he had questions, but I could also tell that he was so overwhelmed with the prospect of having the condition that he shut down. He was completely unable to regain his bearings and ask me all of the questions I knew were racing in his head. He left quickly despite my best efforts to engage him in conversation or offer support or information. I can’t imagine what my patient must have gone through that first day and night after our appointment. He must have been terrified, angry, depressed, or even felt ashamed. My heart aches for him. And by tomorrow, he’ll have a million questions. If you’re concerned that you may have herpes and haven’t see...
You should know
Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.