Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a contagious skin virus that is extremely common. There are 2 types (Type 1 and Type 2). The former is typically associated with cold sores around the mouth and the latter is associated with genital infections.
How common is it and how is it passed on?
HSV 1 affects at least 50% of the population and is often passed on through kissing. HSV 2 affects about 15% of the population and is often passed on through sexual contact, even protected contact. The reason is that HSV 2 may be on the groin and pubic area which is not covered even during protected sex.
What are the symptoms?
Most often symptoms include blistering of the skin in small clusters with a burning sensation noted as well. These fragile blisters often burst then small ulcers appear. Later the ulcers will crust over and this is a sign of healing.
Can it be screened?
If you have symptoms we can perform an accurate swab test for the symptoms in question. If you have no symptoms then a blood test is performed.
Is there a cure?
Currently no but there may be hope for a vaccine in the future. It can be treated and even suppressed through medication.
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