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Genital Herpes
What is it?

Herpes (HSV) is a virus. You can get it from oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who is infected. It is possible to get herpes or give it to someone else, even when you’re not having an outbreak.

You can also get genital herpes from receiving oral sex from someone who has a cold sore. If you get herpes from someone with a cold sore, the outbreaks are usually not as severe, and many times you won’t get the sores again.

What are the symptoms?

  • Sores or blisters that last 7 – 10 days or more
  • Flu-like symptoms that include fever, swollen glands body aches or tiredness
Sometimes the sores are hidden or so small, many people don’t even know they have herpes. In other words, you can’t tell just by looking if someone has herpes.

Even after the sores heal, the virus stays in your body. Then, when your body gets stressed, the sores reappear as an outbreak, typically 4 to 6 times each year.

It is possible to get herpes or give it to someone else, even when you’re not having an outbreak.

What are the effects?

If transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth, herpes is serious and can be fatal to the baby.

In addition, having herpes can make it easier for you to get HIV, if you come into contact with the HIV virus.

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for herpes. However, there are medications that can reduce the number of outbreaks you get, ease the symptoms, make the time you have the outbreak shorter, and reduce the chance that you can infect others.

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Idaho Department of Health and Welfare