What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by HSV-2 or a specific form of the herpes simplex virus. Genital herpes outbreaks commonly yield small sores or lesions on the infected area. In the case of an infection from the HSV-2 virus, these outbreaks usually occur around the genital area, the mouth, or on the buttocks.
Genital herpes is commonly spread through sexual contact. Most individuals will experience a first outbreak - the appearance of symptoms - within 10-to-12 days after exposure to the virus. After this first episode of genital herpes, the virus will then lie dormant in the body causing little-to-no symptoms for extended periods. Genital herpes cannot be cured, however, and you may experience recurrent outbreaks several times a year. These flare-ups may become less frequent and severe as time passes, with sores and symptoms often disappearing more quickly.
While genital herpes cannot be cured, it can be managed through antiviral therapies and safe-sex regimens. For your safety, and the safety of your sexual partners, it is strongly urged that you consult a health care provider if you believe you may have - or have had exposure to - an infection of the herpes simplex virus.