Herpes Virus 

Herpes, also known as "life luggage" causes recurrent, periodic outbreaks of sores in the genital region. It is caused by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV) and remains in your body for life. Most of the time, it is hard to notice herpes, so a lot of people don't know they have it. You have to get tested to find out if you have herpes. You can get herpes from touching someone else's skin that has herpes, including:

  • Kissing someone with a cold sore
  • Oral, anal and vaginal sex
  • Touching any area infected with herpes even if you can't see it


Someone with genital herpes may first notice itching or pain, followed by sores that appear a few hours to a few days later. The sores, which may appear on the vagina, penis, scrotum, buttocks, or anus, start out as red bumps that soon turn into red, watery blisters. The sores may make it very painful to urinate. The sores may open up, ooze fluid or bleed, and then heal within the next 2 to 4 weeks. Typically, another herpes outbreak can appear weeks or months after the first, but it almost always is less severe and shorter than the first outbreak. Some signs of herpes are:

  • Pimples on the infected area that crust over and ooze fluid
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pain while peeing


Herpes can't be cured. Once the virus enters your body, you can't get rid of it. However, herpes treatment can lower the number of visible herpes outbreaks. Herpes is usually not harmful, but it can make it easier for you to receive HIV if you're exposed. Herpes tests are the best way to find out if you have the virus so you can get the necessary treatment.

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