What is herpes?
Herpes is a very common skin disease. It’s caused by a virus and can affect your mouth (oral) and/or the area around the penis or vagina (genital), upper thighs or buttocks. Most of the time, it is hard to notice herpes, so most people don’t know they have it. Cold sores and fever blisters are an example of herpes in your mouth.
How do I get herpes?
Herpes is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact.
You can get herpes even if you can’t see it. Genital herpes can be transmitted sexually both when a person has noticeable symptoms and when they don’t.
What does herpes do to my body?
Most people don’t know they have herpes. You can find out that you have herpes a few days or as late as years after getting it. Herpes usually affects the mouth and the area around the penis or vagina, buttocks or upper thighs.
How do I find out if I have herpes?
If you have symptoms that you think might be herpes, you should see a healthcare provider no later than 48 hours after noticing the symptom. If you don’t have symptoms, you can ask for a “herpes type-specific IgG ” blood test.
Is there a cure for herpes?
No, herpes can’t be cured. Once the virus enters your body, you can’t get rid of it. But there are ways to treat herpes that can lower the number of herpes outbreaks you have. Herpes is usually not harmful, but it can make it easier for you to receive HIV if you’re exposed. ASHA’s website has more information about herpes treatment.