Herpes is a sexually transmittable disease which is caused by a virus called HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus). It’s spread through skin-to-skin contact – for example during vaginal, oral or anal sex. There are two types of herpes, HSV 1 and HSV 2, both enter the body through the mouth, penis, vagina and rectum.
Both types can cause:
- cold sores on the mouth
- genital herpes
- painful infections (called ‘whitlows’) on the fingers and hands.
The herpes simplex virus can remain dormant in nerves between outbreaks. The virus stays inactive most of the time and many people don’t show signs of symptoms. Symptoms of the virus include cold sores, vaginal discharge, ulcers, blisters and pain when urinating.
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