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Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes Quick Overview

  • Genital herpes is a common sexually-transmitted disease caused by a virus that infects genital areas.
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the cause of genital herpes.
  • Genital herpes causes lesions in the form of blisters or groups of small ulcers (open sores) on and around the genitals in both men and women.
  • There is no cure for genital herpes, but medications are available that can treat outbreaks, minimize the symptoms, and decrease recurrences.
  • Genital herpes is highly contagious. Carriers can transmit the disease without having any symptoms of an active infection.
  • Signs of genital herpes develop within 3 to 7 days after contact with an infected person.
  • Most people with genital herpes have recurring outbreaks.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Genital Herpes:

Genital Herpes - Symptoms and Signs

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Genital Herpes - Treatment

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Genital Herpes in Women

Genital herpes facts:

  • There is no "safe" sex.
  • Condoms do not necessarily prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Genital herpes is a viral infection that can cause painful genital sores and causes recurrent outbreaks.
  • Many people are infected with herpes virus and are not aware of the infection.
  • The herpes virus is spread by direct person-to-person contact.
  • An infected person may transmit the virus to others even if no symptoms are present.
  • There is no cure for genital herpes, but viral shedding and outbreaks can be reduced with antiviral medications.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Herpes Simplex »

Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) are ubiquitous, extremely host-adapted pathogens that can cause a wide variety of illnesses.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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