Cause: Herpes Simplex virus
What is herpes?
Herpes lesions are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The
lesions may be found as singular or multiple blisters (lesions) that appear
anywhere in the oral and genital area. The blister will break open to form a
shallow lesion that is very painful. They go away spontaneously with little
What are the symptoms of a herpes lesion?
Symptoms usually appear 1 to 30 days after having intercourse.
The person may have no symptoms or may feel small painful blisters on the
genital organs or in the mouth. The person may experience flu-like symptoms.
The blisters will last from 1 to 3 weeks. They will go away, but like with
genital warts, the virus remains dormant in the body and may
How is it diagnosed?
A doctor or nurse practitioner are the only ones who can
diagnose a case of herpes. They are often seen during a womans
gynecological exam. It can be detected through a herpes virus culture of the
present lesion, a blood test, and is sometimes detected through a Pap
How is herpes spread from person to person?
They are usually spread through oral, vaginal and anal
intercourse. They are especially transmittable when the lesions are present, so
sex should be avoided. They CAN be spread even when the lesion is not present,
so condom use is highly encouraged.
Can herpes be treated and cured?
Herpes can be treated, but not cured. They can be treated with
an anti-viral medication during an outbreak to lessen the duration of the
outbreak. The anti-viral medication may also be used to prevent an outbreak.
The lesions will go away, but during times of stress, the blisters can
reappear. Often the re-occurances are of shorter duration.
Can herpes transmission be prevented?
Although no method is foolproof, people who have only one sexual
partner are the least likely to get herpes. If you do have more than one
partner, or are unsure if your partner may have more than one partner, it is
very important to use condoms. It should be noted, however, that condoms cannot
protect areas they do not cover. For example: the groin area, the upper thighs
and the abdomen. If any herpes lesions are present they should be treated in
order to reduce the risk of transmission.