It is caused by a virus, which is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact during genital or oral sex.
It usually occurs on the Genitals, but may also occur on the mouth, or other sites
The virus is usually silent, but may cause blisters or sores on the skin in a few people.
Apart from causing discomfort, it usually does little harm. Some people become very distressed by this common infection, especially if they look at some of the misinformation that is frequently found on the internet
There are two types of Herpes Virus both of which can cause genital herpes, HSV 1 and HSV 2.
When a person initially catched HSV they have a “first outbreak”, this can be extremely painful, cause a flu like illness and difficulty in urinating. You should seek help for pain relief and advice.
HSV is tested for by taking a swab from as “fresh” a lesion as possible. So it is important to come for a swab as early as possible in the outbreak to increase the chance that the virus will be picked up so that a definitive diagnosis can be made.
After the first episode subsequent outbreaks are less severe as the body has “learnt” to make antibodies against the virus.
It is difficult to predict at first how frequently outbreaks may occur, some people never have an outbreak again however for others it may be more frequent.
At Himerus Health confidential testing and treatment is provided.
A prescription for antiviral tablets is given to shorten the severity and duration of an outbreak but these need to be taken as soon as possible after an outbreak occurs.