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What do you need to know about genital herpes?

  • Published:
    02 December 2022
What do you need to know about genital herpes?

    Genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) and affects the genitals and anus area. The disease is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 - Herpes Simplex Virus. Anyone can get sick, but most carriers of genital herpes viruses don’t know about them since they are latent.

    Herpes infection is a chronic disease and once it gets into the body, the infection will remain in it lifelong. Typically, a person gets infected with genital herpes through direct sexual contact.

    The risk of infection is much higher if one partner has herpes rashes on the skin and mucous membranes and there is close contact with the skin and mucous membranes of another partner. Genital herpes exacerbations are provoked by hypothermia, physical and emotional stress, sexual intercourse, and ultraviolet exposure. Most people who become infected don’t have any symptoms. In other cases, signs of herpes appear 2 to 20 days after being infected. 

   Symptoms of genital herpes:

  1. Flu-like manifestations - slight fever, chills, weakness, fatigue. 
  2. The appearance of small (2-5 mm), liquid-filled blisters on the genitals, buttocks, and anus. The rashes are usually accompanied by itching and/or pain.  Within a few days, the blisters burst, turning into painful ulcers. After 1 to 2 weeks, the ulcers, covered with crusts, heal. 

    There may also be other manifestations: pain in the groin or on the inner sides of the thighs, painful urination, and discharge from the urethra. To avoid getting sick when you have sex, use a condom. Latex condoms, if they cover areas of skin with herpes rashes, can reduce the risk of transmission. Remember, people with active herpes should refrain from having unprotected sex. It is important to know that even if a person does not have a manifestation of genital herpes, they can still infect their sexual partners. The sexual partners of infected people should be aware that they can become infected. Genital herpes in men is treated by a urologist.

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