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Genital Herpes: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Outlook

illustration of genital herpes

1. Overview

The number of sexually transmitted infections has continuously increased over the past years. One of the most common STIs is genital herpes.

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The main mode of transmission is through sexual contact. The infection causes painful sores or blisters on the genital area and adjacent areas.

The virus can affect the mucous membranes like the genitals and mouth. When a person contracts the virus, it may remain dormant in the body but becomes active after a few years.

The types of the herpes simplex virus include the HSV-1 and the HSV-2. The HSV-2 is usually the cause of genital herpes and the HSV-1 causes cold sores. Genital herpes is a common condition affecting people between 14 and 49 years old.