Chances are that if you don’t have genital herpes yourself, then you know somebody who does. But while it’s a widespread STI, how widely known are its actual causes? Below we have detailed what genital herpes is, how you can contract it, and how you can treat it.
Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI), with approximately 846 million people across the globe known to have genital herpes as at 2015.
It is a strand of the herpes simplex virus (HSV), with genital herpes being produced by the HSV-2 strain of the virus and cold sores by the HSV-1 strain. There is no distinct male or female version of herpes, with genital herpes in both men and women caused by HSV-2.
Genital herpes appears as small blisters on your buttocks, anus, thighs, or genitals – in some cases (often as a result of sexual activity) they can appear on the lips, tongue, and mouth. These blisters burst and leave red sores around the infected areas.
The distinct areas that genital herpes can appear for men are the:
The distinct areas that genital herpes can appear for women are the:
Genital herpes is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact and is often contracted as the result of anal or vaginal intercourse, with the infection being passed on through the mucous membranes found on your genitals.
While the blisters and sores are among the more visible examples of the HSV-2 strain of an HSV infection, they are not the only symptom of genital herpes. Among the other symptoms are:
There is currently no cure for genital herpes and around 80% of people will have at least one recurrence after experiencing their first episode.
The symptoms of genital herpes will go of their own accord, however, the blisters that come from the infection will come back during a recurrence.
While there is no known cure for genital herpes, there are a number of treatments available to help people who are afflicted with HSV-2. Among these are:
All of these treatments are available from a registered pharmacy and can be purchased online, or from a high street pharmacist.
We hope that you never suffer from genital herpes. However, if you do then you can take some comfort from the fact that there is plenty of treatment available to help ease your symptoms, and that you are not alone in suffering from it.
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