Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects men and women. Features of genital herpes include pain, itching and sores in your genital area. But you may have no signs or symptoms of genital herpes. If infected, you can be contagious even if you have no visible sores.
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes genital herpes. Sexual contact is the primary way that the virus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in your body and can reactivate several times a year.
There's no cure for genital herpes, but medications can ease symptoms and reduce the risk of infecting others. Condoms also can help prevent transmission of the virus.
May 21, 2014
- Genital herpes: CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/STDFact-herpes-detailed.htm. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ054. Genital herpes. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq054.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140109T0914550331. Accessed Jan. 9, 2014.
- Albrecht MA. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
- Genital herpes. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/genitalherpes/pages/default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
- Albrecht MA. Treatment of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
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