Genital Herpes, HSV

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Full Name:

Herpes Simplex Virus I and Herpes Simplex Virus II. HSV-I is most often associated with cold sores or fever blisters about the mouth and lips, while HSV-II is associated with sores around the gential area. 

Symptoms:

Herpes is marked by clusters of small, painful blisters on the genitals. After a few days, the blisters burst, leaving small ulcers. In men, the blisters usually appear on the penis, but can appear in the urethra or rectum. In women, they usually appear on the labia, but can appear on the cervix and anal area. First outbreaks are accompanied by fever, headache, and muscle soreness for two or more consecutive days in 40% of men and 70% of women. Other relatively common symptoms include painful urination discharge from the urethra or vagina, and tender, swollen lymph nodes in the groin. Secondary symptoms are most prominent in the first four days and then gradually diminish. 

Recurrence:

None in 10% of cases. Frequency for the remaining population is from once a month to once every few years. The majority of sufferers do not have repeat attacks after a few years. Most repeat attacks are less severe than the initial attack. 

Treatment:

There is no medical cure for herpes. Treatment with acyclovir reduces pain and viral reproduction during outbreaks of sores, although it will not delay or prevent recurrences. 

Transmission:

Generally by sexual contact. Direct contact with infected genitals can cause transmission via intercourse, rubbing genitals together, oral genital contact, anal sex, or oral/anal contact. In addition, normally protected areas of skin can become infected if there is a cut, rash, sore.

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