The Herpes Virus

Herpes testing

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV)

There are two types; with Type I generally causing sores around the lips, and Type II causing sores around the genital regions

The Herpes Virus

The virus is spread through sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact. The symptoms are often mild, so many people who are infected do not even know that they have it

When symptoms do occur, herpes shows up as lesions or blisters around the mouth or genital regions, and they can be accompanied with slight pain or itching. Once these symptoms are active, the virus is contagious and may spread from any physical or sexual contact with a ruptured blister

Blood tests are done to determine the presence of the virus and prescription antiviral medication or ointments can be prescribed to treat and ease outbreaks

There is no cure for the herpes virus. Despite this, herpes is not life-threatening and many people live ordinary lives while having the infection

Understanding the cycle in which outbreaks occur and avoiding contact with those who have active symptoms is the best way to manage and prevent the spread of this virus