Genital herpes are painful blisters around the genital area. They're caused by the herpes simplex virus (Type 2 herpes) and are very common. The virus can be transmitted sexually, so genital herpes are often referred to as a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
Genital herpes is a long-term (chronic) condition. The virus stays in your body and can become active again (known as an outbreak). You may have up to five outbreaks in the first two years following infection. Over time, the outbreaks will become less frequent and severe.
However, the virus is rarely transmitted when there are few signs of an outbreak. So, if you know you have genital herpes we recommend that you always use condoms to be absolutely sure you are not transmitting the virus.
Treating genital herpes There is no cure for genital herpes. However, your body may eventually control the virus and the outbreaks can become less severe and frequent, and even disappear.
Genital herpes is usually treated by taking oral antiviral medicines to control the symptoms. If your outbreaks are common, then you may need to take a preventative oral antiviral at a smaller dose for long period of time.