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.