Herpes is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). It's caused by a virus that spreads by skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex, or by genital touching
You get herpes by direct contact with the virus. Herpes virus can be on the skin from the first warning signs until the sore is completely gone. The virus can enter the body where the skin is thin (the mouth, genital or eye areas), or where the skin is broken. If a herpes sore touches [...]
Symptoms vary from person to person. Many people get herpes and don't know it. Others get small, sometimes painful sores on or around the mouth (cold sores) or the genitals. The sores "weep" after they form, develop scabs, heal and go away after two to three weeks. Sores can occur 2 to 30 days after [...]
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 [...]
If there is no virus on the skin at the time of birth, there is no cause for concern. If herpes is active when labor begins, your health care provider may recommend a cesarean. When you find out you're pregnant, let your provider know if you or your partner have herpes.
Not having sex is the best protection against herpes and other STD. Having sex with only one uninfected partner who only has sex with you is also safe. You can also protect yourself by using latex condoms with a water-based lubricant every time you have sex. Use plastic (polyurethane) condoms if you're allergic to latex. [...]
Don't have sex when you have herpes symptoms. Virus is on the skin from the time the first symptoms begin until the sore heals and completely disappears. Don't touch or allow someone else to touch a sore until it heals and has completely gone away. Use latex condoms with a water-based lubricant every time you [...]