Genital Herpes

About the STI


Genital Herpes is an STD caused by two types of viruses. The viruses are called herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2. Herpes can spread by having sexual contact with someone who has the disease. If you touch your sores or the fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another part of your body, such as your eyes.


Some symptoms in men and women are:


· cracked, raw, or red areas around your genitals without pain, itching, or tingling

· Itching or tingling around your anal region

· Small blisters that break open and cause painful sores. These may be on or around your genitals (penis or vagina) or on your buttocks, thighs, or rectal area. More rarely, blisters may occur inside the urethra -- the tube urine passes through on its way out of your body.

· Pain from urine passing over the sores -- this is especially a problem in women.

· Headaches

· Backaches

· Flu-like symptoms, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue


How long does it take to notice the symptoms?


Most people who have herpes have no, or very mild symptoms. You may not notice mild symptoms or you may mistake them for another skin condition, such as a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people who have herpes do not know it.

Most people who have been infected do not notice until about 2 to 20 days after being infected with the virus.


How it affects your body


There is no cure for herpes. However, there are medicines that can prevent or shorten outbreaks. One of these herpes medicines can be taken daily, and makes it less likely that you will pass the infection on to your partner(s).


Prevalence of the STI


In the United States, about one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 have genital herpes. One out of every five teens are infected with this virus.

Herpes infections are more common in women then in men. 80% of people with herpes are unaware they have it. Genital herpes are now 5 times as common in 12 to 19 year olds. Herpes are now twice as common among young adults ages 20 to 29 then they were 20 years ago. At least one in every four people contact genital herpes at some point in their lives.


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