Herpes

1 in 6 people in the US has genital herpes.

What is Herpes and how do you get it?

Herpes is a very common virus that stays in your body for life, and cannot be cured. There are two types of herpes: Herpes Symplex I (HSV I) also known as cold sores, which are very common and are usually found on people’s lips. Cold sores (HSVI) are usually transmitted by kissing on the lips, face, cheek or other kinds of by nonsexual contact. Herpes Symplex II (HSV II) or genital herpes usually appears as small, painful blisters on the sex organs and lasts for 1-3 weeks. Blisters can go away, but you’ll still have herpes. Oral, anal or vaginal sex is the only ways genital herpes is transmitted.

What are the symptoms of herpes?

Herpes causes outbreaks of itchy, painful sores around the mouth or sex organs that come and go. Because herpes is a virus that stays in your body, it can come back at any time.

Do I need to get treated for herpes?

About 50% of teenagers living in the United States have been exposed to herpes. If someone doesn’t get treated for herpes the painful blisters will last longer and they cause outbreaks to happen more often. A pregnant woman can pass along the herpes virus to her child during vaginal childbirth.

What is the treatment for herpes?

If someone has an outbreak and thinks they have herpes they should call a medical professional IMMEDIATELY. A sample of the liquid inside the blister is sent to a laboratory. There are several medications that can prevent herpes outbreaks that are prescribed by a medical professional. Some herbal treatments found in holistic or health food stores may also prevent herpes outbreaks.

How do I prevent getting or spreading herpes?

It is important that if someone has herpes that they don’t touch, play with, squeeze or pop the blisters - if they do, they can infect other parts of their body! If someone has genital herpes, they are very infectious just before and while they are having an outbreak. Herpes is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. Cold sores are usually transmitted mostly by kissing on the lips, face, cheek or other kinds of by nonsexual contact. Genital herpes is transmitted through oral, anal (butt hole) or vaginal sex. Herpes is not transmitted by sitting on contaminated toilet seats, by hot tubs or swimming pools, or through other kinds of non-intimate contact.