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Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects men and women.
Symptoms of genital herpes include pain, itching and sores in the genital area. A person may have no signs or symptoms of genital herpes, however, and if infected, they can be contagious even if there are no visible sores.
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Sexual contact is the primary way the virus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus can lie dormant in the body and can reactivate several times a year.
Although medications can ease symptoms and reduce the risk of infecting others, there is no cure for herpes. Condoms also can help prevent transmission.
Most people who’ve been infected with HSV don’t know they have the infection because they have no signs or symptoms or because their signs and symptoms are so mild.
• Pain or itching that begins within two to 10 days after exposure to an infected sexual partner.
• Small red bumps or tiny white blisters, which may appear several days later.
• Ulcers that form when the blisters rupture and ooze or bleed.
• Scabs that form as the ulcers heal. Ulcers may make it painful to urinate and an infected person may experience pain and tenderness in the genital area until the infection clears.
During an initial outbreak, herpes can cause flu-like signs and symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes in your groin, headache, muscle aches and fever.
Sores appear where the infection entered your body. You can spread the infection by touching a sore and then rubbing or scratching another area of your body, including your eyes.
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