Herpes Simplex Virus
What is Herpes / Herpes Simplex Virus?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), usually HSV Type 2 but HSV Type 1 infections are also possible. There are two types of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV): Type 1 and 2.
HSV Type 1, or Herpes Labialis, usually causes cold sores, or whitlows around the mouth and are mostly acquired during childhood. It is estimated that more than 50% of adults have had previous exposure to the virus.
HSV Type 2, or Herpes Genitalis, usually causes genital infections. However, HSV Type 1 can also appear on genitals through oral sex.
Genital herpes is spread by intimate sexual contact: genital to genital, mouth to genital, genital to anal and mouth to anal contact.