Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. Type 1 causes fever, blisters on the mouth or face which most refer to as oral herpes. Type 2 genital herpes affects the genital area. Both viruses can cause both genital or oral infections but most are inactive and cause no symptoms.
Some infected people have blisters and ulcer outbreaks. A person infected with the virus remain infected for life. Both Type l and Type 2 herpes is spread through direct contact, such as kissing, skin to skin contact and vaginal oral or anal sex. Herpes is often transmitted by people who are unaware they are infected. It can be transmitted with or without symptoms such as sores.
Type 2 herpes produces mild symptoms and most have no recognized symptoms. Herpes can cause recurrent painful genital sores in many adults. Genital herpes can cause fatal infections potentially in infants if the mother is shedding the virus during delivery. If a woman has active genital herpes at time of delivery, there is a risk to the newborn. So a c-section delivery is performed.
Herpes plays a role in heterosexual spread of HIV – HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection. Herpes can also make HIV infected people to be more susceptible to other types of infections. Most people infected with Type 2 genital herpes are not aware of their problem. The primary episode usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted. Lesions will usually heal within two to four weeks.
Some other symptoms may include fly like symptoms, fever and swollen glands. Some people with the infection may never have lesions or very mild symptoms. There is no treatment. Some antiviral medications can shorten and prevent outbreaks. The correct use of condoms is best but if you or the partner has genital herpes, it is best to abstain from sex.