Herpes genitalis, Genital herpes simplex (disorder),HERPES GENITALIA, Virus-Genital Herpes, venereal herpes, Herpes Genitalis,

Genital herpes is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It causes painful blisters on the genitals and the surrounding areas.

As genital herpes can be passed to others through intimate sexual contact, it's often referred to as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) .

HSV can affect any mucous membrane (moist lining), such as those found in the mouth ( cold sores ).

Genital herpes is a chronic (long-term) condition.The virus remains in your bodyand can become active again.The average rate of recurrence is four to five times in the first two years after being infected. However, over time, it tends to become active less frequently and each outbreak becomes less severe.

Both types are highly contagious and can be passed easily from one person to another by direct contact.

Genital herpes is usually transmitted by having sex(vaginal, anal or oral) with an infected person. Even if someone with genital herpes doesn't have any symptoms, it's possible for them to pass the condition on to a sexual partner.

At least eight out of 10 people who carry the virus are unaware they have been infected because there are often few or no initial symptoms. However, certain triggers can activate the virus, causing an outbreak of genital herpes.

In 2013, 32,279 people attended asexual health clinic in England with an attack of genital herpes for the first time.

These complications can be more serious depending on whether you already have genital herpes, or develop it for the first time while pregnant.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 5 Jul 2016