Herpes Simplex (Genital) News

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause sores and other symptoms in the genital area or on the mouth and lips. It is caused by an infection of either type 1 or type 2 of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2).

In almost all cases, genital herpes is spread sexually, either by vaginal, oral or anal sex. In the case of oral sex, genital herpes can be spread from the genitals to the mouth and lips in some instances.

Symptoms of Herpes Simplex

Many who are infected with the herpes virus are not even aware that they have the disease. They may not have any symptoms at all, or only mild symptoms that can be mistaken for another skin infection. When genital herpes does show symptoms, however, it is usually in the form of red blisters that appear around the genitals or the mouth and lips. These blisters can be painful, break open and take several weeks to heal. Upon a first outbreak of genital herpes symptoms, an individual might also experience achiness, fever and other flu-like symptoms.

Once a person is infected with genital herpes, the blisters typically reoccur, on average about four to five times each year. The disease is also most commonly spread from person to person through an active herpes infection, though it can also be spread when the skin does not appear to be having an outbreak.

Treatment and Prevention

There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are several anti-viral medications that can help treat it. These fall into two categories. One type of herpes drug can be taken when you have a herpes outbreak in order to reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease. The other type of drug can be taken more regularly to help prevent outbreaks from occurring in the first place.

The best way to prevent the spread of herpes is through abstinence, monogamous sex with a partner who you know is uninfected or the use of condoms during sex.

SOURCES: WomensHealth.gov; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Date Posted
Article Title
Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Two-pronged approach tested on lab monkeys, guinea pigs

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Early diagnosis won't change course of the STD, which is incurable, advisory panel says

Injections Might Help Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission for Months: Study

Three-shot regimen seems to control lesions as effectively as daily pills, but wider trials needed

Experimental Genital Herpes Drug Shows Promise

Drug lowered viral activity, recurrence of symptoms in study patients

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Research reveals ongoing struggle in the cells of infected people

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Experimental Drug Shows Promise for Genital Herpes Treatment

But larger, longer trials are needed, experts say

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Only partially effective against one type of virus, ineffective against second type, study found

Scientists Identify Gene Linked to Cold Sores

Findings could eventually lead to new treatments for outbreaks of oral herpes, researchers say

Research Sheds Light on How Herpes Virus Invades Cells

Finding may lead to new target for genital herpes drug treatments, study suggests

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Most don't know they have the disease, CDC says, upping risks for transmitting it to others

Genital Herpes' Reactivation Better Understood

Lesions not confined to one area of genital tract, study finds

One in Four Teen Girls Have STDs

Almost 20 percent get infected within one year of starting to have sex, CDC report says

Genital Herpes May Never Go Dormant

Study finds low level shedding may be continuous, infection state unclear

Condoms May Reduce Herpes Risk

Unprotected skin may still transmit virus, but disease odds fall by 30 percent, study finds

Test Before Corneal Transplant May Improve Outcome

Even inactive herpes virus can cause inflammation, transplant rejection, study finds

Health Tip: Soothing Herpes Pain

Suggestions to ease the discomfort

Treatment Target for Herpes Pinpointed

Study finds VP16 is molecular key that unlocks the virus from latent state

In Time, Cream Might Prevent Herpes Transmission

Harvard researchers say treatment involving genes works in mice

Australian Study Seeks Genetic Roots of Cerebral Palsy

Reseachers to gather 10,000 samples in study of this pregnancy complication

New Hope Against the Cold Sore Virus

Driving herpes simplex out of hiding could bring about a cure, scientists say

Study Ties Herpes Virus to Emerging Form of Diabetes

French researchers say antibodies linked to disease found in Sub-Saharan Africans

Viral Infections Tied to Pregnancy Complications

Exposure, especially to herpes, linked to high blood pressure, preterm births, study finds

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What's behind these painful sores

Genetically Altered Cold Sore Virus Fights Cancer

Herpes simplex strain showed no side effects in early trial, study says

Researchers Uncover How Herpes Infects the Eye

Virus may be able to evade the body's immune system defenses

U.S. Herpes Cases on the Decline

10-year drop was sharpest among teens, researchers say

Health Tip: Genital Herpes Can Be Spread Without Symptoms

People with no signs may still be contagious

Health Tip: Cold Sores Can Be Treated

They're caused by a virus

Genital Herpes Vaccine to Be Tested

Treatment could protect women from sexually transmitted virus

Herb May Help Heal Herpes

Cream cuts down on the number of lesions during an outbreak, study finds

Linking a Sore Point to Heredity

Study finds recurrent cold sores are hereditary

Herpes, HPV May Spell Cervical Cancer

Study finds combo may create higher risk for women

Herpes Rates Could Explode by 2025

Study contends nearly half of U.S. women might be infected

Potent Drugs for Genital Herpes on Horizon

Resistant viral strains may have met their match