Relax, Johnny's Got You Covered

Herpes

Description:

It is a virus caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two types, HSV 1 and HSV 2.

Cause:

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact
  • Unprotected vagina, anal or oral sex
  • Unprotected rimming (mouth to anus)
  • From a pregnant mother to her baby

Symptoms:

  • Most people who carry the virus have no symptoms
  • During an outbreak you may have:
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Painful blisters or ulcers on your external genitals and rectum
  • A burning sensation when you pass urine

Treatment:

  • Prescribed medication can reduce discomfort during an outbreak.
  • The virus will stay in your system, so you may have further outbreaks.
  • These outbreaks are usually less severe

Prevention:

  • Don’t have sex while you or your partner(s) has an outbreak
  • Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly and put it on before you have sex

(Source: Health Service Executive (HSE), 2007)