Herpes can’t be cured, but it can be treated.

There is no cure for herpes. 

The sores go away, but the virus doesn’t. The virus enters nerve cells close to the sores and stays there. There are no signs that it’s present. The virus in this stage is “inactive”. The virus can become active again, sometimes due to stress, and it travels down the nerves to the skin. The sores may appear again. Or, the virus can stay on the skin without symptoms.

Herpes can be treated.

If you have herpes, symptoms are best treated by a health care provider. Prescription medicine can help suppress herpes if taken in the first day or two. It may also be used daily to reduce the chances of recurrence. Some people find herpes support groups helpful. You can find a group in your area by calling the:

  • National STD Hotline – (919) 361-8488

A recurrence is when the herpes sores come back.  Some people have one herpes outbreak, and are never bothered again. Other people have recurrences.
Recurrences usually don’t last as long as the first infection.  (The average is 5 to 10 days.) There also usually isn’t as much discomfort. Different people have
different patterns. One person might have one recurrence a year. Another might have 12. One person might have no discomfort. Another might have a lot.