What is it?
- HSV-1 is known as oral herpes, since it occurs mostly around the mouth
- HSV-2 is known as genital herpes because it effects the genital area
- Yet both types can infect the oral or genital areas or both
- You can also self-inoculate, meaning you can infect other areas of your body with the virus. For example, if you touch an open sore and then touch your face, you can transfer genital herpes to your face/mouth.
- 8 out of 10 American adults has oral herpes
- 1 out of 5 has genital herpes
How do you get it?
- From person to person or from one body part to another through skin to skin contact (i.e., through vaginal, anal or oral
- sex, or kissing or touching a person who has the herpes virus).
- The infected person does not have to have an outbreak in order to be contagious
Symptoms: Oral Herpes (HSV-1)
- “Cold sores” or “fever blisters” can appear around the lips and mouth
- Glands in the throat may be swollen or tender
Symptoms: Oral Herpes (HSV-2)
- There may or may not be symptoms
- Cluster of blistery sores on the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, buttocks or anus
- Initial sores heal in 2-4 weeks but they may return in weeks, months, or years, or never return,
- Itching, pain, swelling, tenderness of the infected area
- Chills, fever, headache & flu-like symptoms may occur 2-20 days after infection
Treatment & Prevention
Symptoms of herpes include blisters or sores around the mouth, lips or gentials.
- There is no cure for herpes, though there are medications to manage it
- Treatment helps the sores heal more quickly and prevents them from returning frequently
- Avoid touching the sores, and if contact occurs, wash with soap and water
- The only way to 100% prevent herpes is by abstaining from oral, vaginal, and anal sex
- Reduce your number of sex partners
- Practicing safer sex can reduce your risk
- Use male or female condoms for anal and vaginal sex
- Use dental dams and male condoms for oral sex
- Use protection the whole time, every time