Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection STI passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Treatment from a sexual health clinic can help. Symptoms clear up on their own but can come back. You can see a GP, but they’ll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes. They’ll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.
Go even if you have not had sex for a long time, as blisters can take months or years to appear. Having HIV puts a person at greater risk of contracting genital herpes, and having genital herpes puts a person at greater risk of contracting HIV. If you have herpes, you can follow some simple measures to avoid passing the virus on to your partner s, and to continue to have a healthy and happy sex life. This first episode of genital herpes may last from two to four weeks. Treatment with antiviral drugs is standard during first episodes and can speed healing significantly. A person may show symptoms within days after contracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, or years. The first outbreak may also be accompanied by full body symptoms, such as fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes 3,6. Such areas include the vagina or vulva, penis, scrotum or testicles, buttocks or anus, or thighs. How is herpes diagnosed?
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While some people realize that they have genital herpes, many do not. It is estimated that one in five persons in the United States has genital herpes; however, as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus. This is because many people have very mild symptoms that go unrecognized or are mistaken for another condition or no symptoms at all. Because signs can vary a great deal, we recommend that an individual see a healthcare provider to be tested if they have a lesion of any kind. This can be swabbed for a culture test or for other sensitive tests. A person may show symptoms within days after contracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, or years. Some people may have a severe outbreak within days after contracting the virus while others may have a first outbreak so mild that they do not notice it.
These classic lesions of genital herpes often resemble small pimples or blisters that eventually crust over and finally scab like a small cut. Condoms also can help prevent the spread of a genital herpes infection. Media last reviewed: 27 January Media review due: 27 January whhen