Herpes is an STD caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). Genital herpes is a lifelong STD that causes painful outbreaks of blisters in the genital area.
Usually, HSV-1 is the virus associated with oral herpes, and HSV-2 is the virus associated with genital herpes.
As a result, being diagnosed with genital herpes can often be a confusing and confronting experience.
There is currently no cure for genital herpes, but it can be effectively treated and managed.
Sex with herpes can be intimate, romantic, loving, and fun.
If you’ve just found out you have genital herpes, we hope you’ll find the facts about the condition and available treatment options both empowering and reassuring.
Watching for Signs of Herpes Seeking Medical Diagnosis Treating Herpes Community Q&A Herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. HSV-1 usually manifests as a cold sore, or oral lesion, but may sometimes appear on the genitals. HSV-2 is the most common viral STI in the US and causes infections of the skin and mucous membranes, rectum, eyes, and central nervous system.
One of the encouraging things about genital herpes (HSV-2) is that it’s still possible to have a rich and fulfilling sex life.
So you can educate yourself about sex with herpes, including what precautions you can take, what your chances are of getting herpes, and types of sexual encounters as they relate to herpes.
For some this may be stating the obvious, but let me first say that you should always tell your partner if you have herpes, even if you have no symptoms. And for sex with herpes to be its most fulfilling and safe, we recommend that you have it in the context of a mutually monogamous relationship, as does the CDC.