• Herpes simplex causes a viral skin condition known as cold sores (on face), whitlows (on fingers) or ‘herpes’ on genitals or other skin areas.
  • As many as one in three adults have the virus that causes genital herpes.
  • Around 80% of people infected with genital herpes don’t know they have the virus because they have very mild symptoms or none at all.
  • Over 50% of people who have genital herpes get it from people who are entirely unaware that they have herpes themselves.
  • The emotional impact of being diagnosed with genital herpes is often much worse than the condition itself.
  • Oral herpes, also known as “cold sores”, is commonly transmitted to the genitals through oral/genital contact. Up to 50% of genital herpes is caused by the oral type of herpes simplex.
  • There is effective treatment available if herpes symptoms are problematic.
  • The symptoms of genital herpes vary enormously. It can show up as blisters or sores, but it can also just produce a mild rash. Whatever symptoms do appear may be on the thighs, back, fingers, and of course the genitals.
  • The herpes virus can be passed on when there are no symptoms present.
  • Most people who infect others with herpes don’t realize they are putting their partners at risk.
  • Using condoms reduces the risk of passing on the herpes virus, but doesn’t completely eliminate it.
  • Daily medication can prevent recurrences of the herpes virus and reduce the risk of transmission to partners.
  • Having genital herpes is not associated with causing cervical cancer.

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