Learn More About Genital Herpes
Most frequent questions and answers about Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can affect numerous areas of the body (genitals, butt and thighs), and the same virus can induce cold sores on the mouth/face (oral herpes).
If you have had any type of sex, it is possible for herpes to be transmitted. HSV-1 shows up as cold sores/fever blisters on the mouth. HSV-2 is specific to the genitalia, but is less common.
The main symptoms of genital herpes is the formation of fluid-filled blisters that burst to form painful sores. Affected areas include the bum, thighs, anus, urethra, vulva, vagina, penis and scrotum.
Many people do not show symptoms, but once infected they can randomly appear occasionally.
It is possible to pick up the herpes virus from any infected individual kissing, or being involved in sexual relations with you.
Up to 90% of HSV-2 infected individuals do not know they are infected.
Yes. Samples can be obtained from a suspected herpes blister, which can be sent to the lab and investigated. Alternatively blood tests are available which look for HSV-2 related molecules.
The only way to precent getting herpes is to not have sex, or only have sexual relations with someone who does not have genital herpes.
Condoms can offer come protection, but skin contact unprotected by the condom will transfer the infection.
Oral herpes can be transferred through oral sex to the genitalia.
Genital herpes is rarely life threatening. But it can make secondary infections, such as HIV, to enter the body more readily.
If you have genital herpes and are pregnant, you can pass it onto your child. This is dangerous, and an outbreak upon delivery can lead to a cesarean section being carried out.