Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1, which is usually associated with oral herpes (cold sores), and HSV-2, which is usually associated with genital herpes.
Symptoms of herpes can include painful blisters or sores on or around the mouth, genitals, or anus, as well as fever, headaches, and swollen glands. Herpes is most contagious when there are visible symptoms, but it can also be transmitted when there are no visible symptoms.
There is no cure for herpes, but antiviral medications can help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. It is important for people with herpes to practice safe sex, including using condoms, to prevent the spread of the virus to their partners.
It is also important to note that having herpes is common, and it does not define a person’s worth or value. With proper management and support, people with herpes can lead healthy, fulfilling lives. It is important to raise awareness about herpes to reduce stigma and increase understanding of this common STI.
Herpes is a common viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of herpes virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 typically causes oral herpes, which results in cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth, while HSV-2 typically causes genital herpes, which results in painful blisters or sores around the genitals or anus.
It’s estimated that around two-thirds of people worldwide under the age of 50 have HSV-1, while around one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have HSV-2. Herpes can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, oral sex, and kissing.
It’s important to be aware of herpes symptoms, as the virus can be easily transmitted even when there are no visible symptoms present. Symptoms of herpes may include:
- Pain or itching around the genitals or mouth
- Small, painful blisters or sores that may break open and form a crust
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and muscle aches
There is no cure for herpes, but antiviral medications can help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of outbreaks. Using condoms during sexual activity can also help reduce the risk of transmission.
If you think you may have herpes, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s also important to communicate with sexual partners about any potential risks of transmission.