What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is a germ that is spread through having sex without a condom with an infected person. It is considered a sexually transmissible infection (STI).


Many people have genital herpes without symptoms, but some people get blisters around their genital areas.  After getting herpes, the first time someone gets symptoms, they may experience:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Painful blisters, cracks, rashes, and/ or itching in the genital area.

Why you need to see a doctor if you have been at risk of Genital Herpes

Herpes is very common and many people do not know they have it, but they can still pass it on to others.  Herpes can cause discomfort for people who experience symptoms and cannot be cured.


Herpes can be spread through genital contact (skin to skin) without penetrative sex, so it is important to use a condom or dam and lube during other sexual activities, as well as during vaginal, anal and oral sex, to reduce the risk of getting herpes.


If you have had sex without a condom, you may be at risk of herpes or other STIs.  You should go to a doctor to be tested.  If you have blisters, the doctor may take a swab of the area to check for herpes.  The doctor may also suggest a blood test to check for herpes.


Herpes cannot be cured.  There is anti-viral medication which can reduce the number of times you get symptoms and also reduce the severity of symptoms.

For more information

Talk to your doctor or local health clinic.

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