About one-fifth of all people aged 12 and up in the U.S. are infected with the HSV-2 virus that causes genital herpes, but as many as 90% don't know it. Experts estimate 50% to 80% of adults have oral herpes.
One in four women compared with one in five men are infected with genital herpes. One reason may be that the virus can infect a woman's genitals more easily than it can a man's. It becomes more common as people age and the more sex partners people have.
How is Genital Herpes Contracted?
Both herpes simplex virus-1 and virus-2 may be transmitted through sex, or by kissing or touching any affected area. A condom can prevent herpes transmission during vaginal or anal sex, but oral contact with genitals or open sores anywhere can spread the disease. Washing hands can also minimize transmission
Herpes simplex virus-1 usually shows up as cold sores or blisters. For those who have herpes simplex virus-2, some have no symptoms, while others may show signs of an infection from five to twenty days after having sex with an infected partner. Early symptoms can include a burning sensation in the genitals, low back pain, pain when urinating, and flu-like symptoms. A short while later, small red bumps may appear around the genitals or on the mouth; later these bumps become painful blisters which then crust over, form a scab, and heal.
Testing of Herpes:
Your doctor will examine the sores and test fluid from the blisters