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A virus that produces a red blistering rash on your genitals.
Many people will have herpes and not know they have it as it remains symptomless in a lot. Those who do have symptoms will develop.
It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. This is a family of over 25 viruses that also cause cold sores. Genital herpes is caused by two members so this family.
Is a virus that causes cold sores and gential herpes. It generally produces milder symptoms than HSV 2 but is still highly infectious and can be very uncomfortable.
Produces more severe symptoms than HSV 1 and is just as infectious.
Infection with either is lifelong. Although the blisters are highly infectious, most transmission occurs when there are no obvious signs of infection but while the virus is silently "shedding". The virus sheds minute quantities of particles through the skin on its way up from the nerve root where it resides in the body. Research shows that shedding is more common in women than first thought and may continue throughout life. Previous infection with HSV1 does not provide immunity against HSV2, although it may make the primary attack less severe.
With treatment and care, attacks can be short-lived and less severe. Up to 20% of those affected never have a second attack.
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Date of last review 08/04/14
Date of next review 07/04/17
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