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...
Resources www.ashastd.org -- American Social Health Association www.niaid.nih.gov -- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases www.cdc.gov/std/herpes -- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.herpes-foundation.org -- American Herpes Foundation www.herpesalliance.org -- International Herpes Alliance www.gotherpes.com -- Herpes support site www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/stds/herpevac -- Herpevac (herpes vaccine) clinical trial information
<p><strong>What Is Genital Herpes?</strong></p>
<p>Genital herpes is a viral infection characterized by outbreaks of painful sores on the genitals. Most often it spreads through sexual contact. Once infected, a person carries the virus permanently in a latent form in the nerve cells; there is no cure. An initial attack and any recurrences generally last from one to three weeks, after which the infection may go into remission for months or years. Subsequent attacks tend to be less severe, and in about one-third of cases, permanent remission follows the initial outbreak.</p>
<p>Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms. In about one third of those who develop clinical symptoms, permanent remission occurs after the initial attack, most likely due to the ability of the body’s immune system to contain the virus. The remaining two thirds of people with symptoms will suffer additional outbreaks at unpredictable intervals. The first...
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