Genital Herpes - kypf: Sexual Health Advice

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Genital Herpes

What is it?

Genital herpes is a viral infection triggered off by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and is mostly common among males and females over the age of 20. There are two types of infections, HSV 1 and HSV2.

HSV1 usually causes cold sores on the lips or around the mouth but can also cause blisters in the genital area like HSV2.

The infection can easily be passed on from person to person through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral (kissing, sucking or licking) sex. However, they can also be spread through close genital contact which is skin-to-skin contact. The risk of transmission is greater just before, during or after the outbreak of blisters or sores.

What are the Symptoms/Causes?

Genital herpes usually causes small painful blisters to develop on or around the genitals area. Other symptoms can include:

  • Itching and Irritation
  • Flu-like symptoms (headache, backache or a temperature)
  • A burning sensation when passing urine.

Like facial cold sores, the initial outbreak (primary infection) may be followed by a period of inactivity before it becomes active again and causing a further outbreak (a recurrent infection). Any future outbreaks will be less severe and shorter in duration.

However, many people who have the virus may not show any symptom at all which makes it difficult to diagnose but the virus can still be passed on.

How do I get tested/treated?

There is currently no cure for this virus but an anti-viral drug called Aciclovir is available to help reduce the severity of the primary and any recurrent outbreaks. It is most effective if it is taken as soon as possible after the onset of the symptoms.

Contact your doctor, practice nurse or local GUM clinic if you would like further advice on Genital Herpes or would like to get tested. Click here to find a service local to you.

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