This iss a virus there are two types of herpes simplex virus (HSV), type 1 and type 2. Both types are highly contagious. Type 1 is associated with the cold sores and Type 2 genital herpes. 

How you get it:  

  • Unprotected penetrative sex (vaginal or anal) and oral sex 
  • Other genital skin to skin contact.  
  • Even if someone with genital herpes doesn't have symptoms, it's possible for them to pass the condition on to a sexual partner 


  • Not everyone will get symptoms. The first attack the person may feel very unwell with flu-like symptoms with painful blisters around the genital area. It may be very painful to pee. 
  • Recurrent infections although the initial symptoms of genital herpes clear up, the virus remains dormant (inactive) in a nearby nerve. The virus may be reactivated from time to time, travelling back down the nerve to your skin and causing recurrent outbreaks.  


  • If you don’t have significant discomfort or pain from herpes, no treatment is required. 
  •  A course of antiviral tablets and/or ointment   

If it’s not treated: 

  • There’s no cure, and the blisters may come back, but the first outbreak is usually the worst, and often they don’t come back at all.