Genital herpes



A common sexually transmitted infection that often spreads by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity.


The herpes simplex virus causes genital herpes. Not using a condom or other protection during oral, vaginal or anal sex raises the risk of genital herpes. Having sex with more than one partner raises the risk. Another risk factor is having sex with a partner who has genital herpes and is not getting treatment for it.


Genital herpes symptoms include pain, itching and sores around the genitals, anus or mouth. Some people have mild symptoms or none at all. But a person can still spread the virus that causes genital herpes even without visible symptoms.


Genital herpes treatment involves taking medicines that target the virus, called antivirals. The medicine helps sores heal during a first outbreak of genital herpes. It also can reduce future outbreaks and make the symptoms less serious. Medicine lowers the chances of passing the herpes virus to a partner as well.