Herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV) is a virus. The most common symptom is a blister looking sore or sores that are painful. It could also look like a small cut in the skin. These sores might come and go in the same place. They last for 1-2 weeks before healing.

The first outbreak often causes:

  • flu-like symptoms such as headaches and body aches
  • difficulty or pain when you pee
  • fever and chills
  • swollen and painful glands in your pelvic area

Not everyone has these symptoms, so there are many people with herpes who don't know they carry the virus. Many people have "cold sores" on their lips and mouth. This is herpes as well and can be spread through kissing and oral sex. Medications can help you feel better and decrease the amount of time the virus is active. It will not cure the virus. You will always have the virus in your body.

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