Herpes simplex is a viral infection causing small, painful sores on the skin and mucous membranes. There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1, commonly causing oral herpes, and HSV-2, primarily responsible for genital herpes.

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Herpes Simplex FAQ


What is herpes simplex?

Herpes simplex is a viral infection that causes painful sores on the skin and mucous membranes.

What are the types of herpes simplex virus?

There are two types: HSV-1, which commonly causes oral herpes, and HSV-2, which primarily results in genital herpes.

How is herpes simplex transmitted?

Herpes simplex is usually transmitted through contact with sores or saliva from an infected person.

What are the common symptoms of oral herpes?

Oral herpes presents as cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth.

What are the common symptoms of genital herpes?

Genital herpes causes painful sores in the genital area.

Is there a cure for herpes simplex?

There is no cure, but antiviral medications can help manage and reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

How effective are antiviral medications for herpes?

Antiviral drugs can shorten the duration and severity of herpes outbreaks, as well as reduce the risk of transmission.

Can herpes simplex be spread even if there are no symptoms?

Yes, herpes can be spread even when sores are not present through a process known as viral shedding.

How is herpes simplex diagnosed?

Doctors can often diagnose herpes simplex based on the appearance of sores. Laboratory tests can confirm the diagnosis.

What are the possible complications of untreated herpes?

Untreated herpes can lead to severe complications in newborns if transmitted during childbirth. It may also increase the risk of acquiring other sexually transmitted infections.

How can I reduce the risk of spreading herpes?

Practicing safe sex, using condoms, and avoiding sexual contact during outbreaks can reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Can I still have a normal sex life if I have herpes?

With proper management and precautions, many people with herpes lead healthy and fulfilling sexual lives.

Can herpes simplex affect pregnancy?

Pregnant women with genital herpes can transmit the virus to the baby during childbirth, which can have serious consequences. However, medical management can greatly reduce this risk.

Can stress trigger herpes outbreaks?

Yes, stress and other factors that weaken the immune system can trigger herpes outbreaks.

Is it important to seek medical advice for herpes treatment?

Yes, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to receive appropriate treatment for herpes simplex infections.

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