May also be called: HSV2; HSV-2; Genital Herpes; Herpes
Herpes simplex 2 is a type of herpesvirus that usually causes outbreaks in the
More to Know
There are several kinds of herpesviruses that can cause blisters and pain in various
parts of the body. Usually, herpes simplex 2 (HSV2) causes lesions in the genital
area, resulting in genital herpes.
Sometimes, HSV2 can also cause lesions around the mouth
and face. Herpes is contagious and can be transmitted from person to person through
any form of unprotected sex (oral, anal, or vaginal).
Herpes outbreaks typically begin with pain, tenderness, or itching in the genital
area. Bumps and blisters may appear on the vagina, penis, scrotum, anus, thigh, or
buttocks. Blisters soon open to form painful sores that can last up to 3 weeks. Other
symptoms may include: pain or a burning sensation during urination;
muscle aches; and tender, swollen glands in the groin area.
After someone is initially infected, the virus can lie dormant without causing
any symptoms. But it can reactivate later, typically after some sort of stress like
a cold, an infection, hormonal changes, or menstrual periods. Outbreaks are often
treated with antiviral medication. For people who know they have the virus, suppressive
therapy can prevent or decrease the number of outbreaks and lessen the chance
the virus will be passed to another person during sex.
Keep in Mind
There is no cure for HSV2. Once someone has been infected with the virus, it stays
in the body. Medications can ease the discomfort of outbreaks and limit or sometimes
prevent them, but it's better to prevent a herpes infection altogether by taking precautions
against sexually transmitted
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