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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...
Alternative Names Cold sore; Fever blister; Herpes simplex - oral; Oral herpes simplex Prevention Avoid direct contact with herpes sores. Minimize the risk of indirect spread by thoroughly washing items such as towels in hot (preferably boiling) water before reuse. Do not share items with an infected person, especially when they have herpes lesions. Avoid triggers (especially sun exposure) if you are prone to oral herpes. Avoid performing oral sex when you have active herpes lesions on or near your mouth and avoid receiving oral sex from someone who has oral or genital herpes lesions. Condoms can help reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the risk of catching herpes from oral or genital sex with an infected person. Both oral and genital herpes viruses can sometimes be transmitted even when the person does not have active lesions. References Haile-Mariam T, Polis MA. Viral illnesses. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosens Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice . ...
If you or someone you love has just been diagnosed with genital herpes, you may be experiencing a variety of emotions, and you’ve probably got questions—lots of them. It is important to be open and honest with your partner and to know the facts to keep you both healthy and safe. 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. Symptoms Most people do not show the symptoms of genital herpes but can still spread the virus. In fact, the herpes virus stays in the body even after all symptoms have subsided. Read more about the common symptoms of genital herpes. Prevention and Treatment Some drugs can lower the frequency and length of outbreaks, but there is no cure for genital herpes. However, suppressive therapy combined with safe sex practices can decrease your chances of passing the virus to your partner. Learn about th...
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