(Herpes, Genital; Herpes Genitalis; Herpes Simplex, Genital)
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- Direct contact with an infected person—such as having contact with the vagina, penis, anus, or mouth (can include sexual or non-sexual contact)
- Fluid from herpes blisters that gets on other parts of the body
- Pregnancy or childbirth—an infection can pass from mother to her child
- High number of sexual partners
- History of sexually transmitted infections
- Starting to have sex at an early age
- Illness or infection
- Open a blister to take a sample of it
- Have blood tests done—Your doctor will do tests to find out if you have herpes simplex type 1 virus or herpes simplex type 2 virus.
- Acyclovir (Zovirax)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Take over-the-counter pain medicine
- Take lukewarm baths
Treatment for Sexual Partners
- Use latex condoms
- Avoid oral, anal, or genital sex if your partner has herpes blisters
- Avoid touching blisters to prevent spreading to other parts of the body
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
International Herpes Alliance http://www.herpesalliance.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Sex Information and Education Council of Canada http://www.sieccan.org
Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Medical Information . New York, NY: Pocket; 2000.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 among persons aged 14-49 years--United States, 2005-2008. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010;59(15):456-459.
Genital herpes: lifestyle tips. National Women's Health Resource Center, Inc. (NWHRC) website. Available at: http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/genital-herpes . Updated October 20, 2010. Accessed October 7, 2012.
Genital herpes. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/genitalHerpes/understanding/Pages/transmission.aspx . Updated January 26, 2011. Accessed October 7, 2012.
Corey L, Bodsworth N, et al. An update on short-course episodic and prevention therapies for herpes genitalis. Herpes . 2007;14:Suppl 1:5A-11A.
Herpes genitalis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated June 2008. Accessed October 7, 2012.
Herpes simplex. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/herpes-simplex/who-gets-causes/herpes-simplex-who-gets-and-causes . Accessed October 7, 2012.
6/14/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection following Jewish ritual circumcisions that included direct orogenital suction—New York City, 2000-2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012;61:405-409.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -