Herpes (HSV)

Herpes (HSV) presents in two different types.

  • Type One is usually found around the mouth and is commonly known as a cold sore.
  • Type Two is usually found around the penis and anus areas and is commonly known as genital herpes.

Symptoms may not always be present, but can include an itching or tingling feeling around the infected area and an outbreak of painful blisters or sores which later form scabs. Flu-like symptoms may also be present.

Herpes can be passed on both sexually and non-sexually during skin to skin contact, by direct contact with a sore on the mouth, penis or anus and can also be transmitted where there are no obvious symptoms present.

A physical examination of the affected area can detect a herpes outbreak.

There is no cure, but there are treatments that can reduce symptoms and speed up recovery. The possibility of repeated outbreaks varies from person to person, but outbreaks may become less frequent and over time may stop all together.

Outbreaks of HSV can be more severe and last longer for those with HIV. HIV viral loads can peak during outbreaks and increase transmission risk to partners of both HSV and HIV.

Condoms can reduce the risk of transmission. There is also strong evidence that taking anti-HSV medications greatly reduces the risk of passing herpes on to partners.