Genital herpes is a very common and highly contagious infection usually spread through sex. This infection is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) or the herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), the virus usually responsible for cold sores.
Most cases of genital herpes are caused by infection by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is more often the cause of cold sores or fever blisters. But it can also be a cause of genital herpes.
Most people with genital herpes don't know they have it. That's because in most people it produces either no symptoms or very mild ones.
- Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
- Genital herpes is very similar to the herpes that appear on the hands and face ('cold sores'), but is found on or around the penis, anus or vagina.
- There are two types of herpes virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both types can cause genital herpes. The first episode of infection (primary) with genital herpes is often quite severe. There are blisters and inflammation at the site of infection and the sufferer may feel generally unwell. It is common to have symptoms of burning when passing urine.
- After the first episode of infection with HSV the virus enters into a dormant phase in the nerve, which supplies feeling to the area where infection occurred.
- The dormant virus reactivates from time to time to cause recurrences.
- Some people get symptoms warning them that a recurrence is about to occur, such as itching, tingling or pain in the genital area; blisters or sores may then develop. These tend to be less severe than the symptoms that occurred at the time of the first episode of infection.
- From time to time the virus may reactivate without causing any symptoms of infection at all.
You should take one tablet three times a day for a total of five days.