DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. Features of genital herpes include pain, itching and sores in your genital area. But many infected people have no signs or symptoms of genital herpes. An infected person can be contagious, even if he or she has no visible sores.
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Sexual contact is the primary way that the virus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in your body and can reactivate several times a year.
There's no cure for genital herpes, but medications can ease symptoms and reduce the risk of infecting others. Condoms also can help prevent transmission of the virus.
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