Herpes is a common STD and a lot of people who have it don’t even know. There is no cure for herpes, but there is treatment that can lessen symptoms and decrease the likelihood of passing it on to someone else.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease cause by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). The most common HSV to cause genital herpes is HSV-2. HSV-1 most commonly causes cold sores.
People with genital herpes will typically have no symptoms until an “outbreak”. Outbreaks happen when blisters and/or sores develop on vagina, penis, thighs, or buttocks. Some people only have one outbreak. Some will have many outbreaks over their lifetime.
Any skin-to-skin touching with infected areas can pass along herpes, even if the person
who has herpes doesn’t have any visible sores or other symptoms. Once you have herpes, the virus is always in your body, so it can pass by oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
Herpes can be effectively managed with proper counseling and medication. For people with frequent outbreaks, taking medication on a daily basis can significantly reduce the number of outbreaks and improve quality of life. Consistent and correct condom use can reduce the likelihood of spreading herpes to sex partners.
Responding to the fact that one in two young people will get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by age 25 – Protect Yours.org was commissioned by the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health to provide facts and resources on STIs and testing.
The purpose of ProtectYours.org, an online resource is to improve the health and well being of young people in the St. Louis region by providing non-judgmental, accurate, and reliable sexual and reproductive health information and resources.