What is Herpes?
Herpes is one of the most common STI’s in teenagers. Herpes is caused by a virus called the Herpes Simplex Virus and like all viruses, it remains in your body once you’ve contracted it. There are two types of herpes that cause small, painful blisters:
- HSV Type I that cause cold sores around the mouth
- HSV Type II that causes very painful genital sores/ulcers/blisters
Oral Herpes or cold sores are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth which is spread by kissing and is not considered an STI.
Genital Herpes (genital ulcers) is spread through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal contact with an infected person. The risk of transmission of the virus is highest when one partner has visible sores. However, it is still possible to get HSV 2 when your partner does not have any visible sores as the virus remains in the body once contracted.
What are the symptoms?
Cold sores causes:
- Tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth.
- Small fluid-filled blisters or sores usually on the edges of your lower lip.
Genital herpes can cause:
- Blisters or painful ulcers anywhere on the genitals
- General feeling of unwell
- Fever and headaches
- Swollen glands
- Painful urination
The blisters or sores usually resolve after 7-10 days but can recur in times of emotional stress, fatigue or with other infections. Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode and over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe.
What treatment is there?
There is no cure for Herpes but the symptoms can be controlled and the outbreak shortened with the use of antivirals, which are available in both a tablet and cream form.
What do we test?
At Test Easy we test for HSV 1 and HSV 2 with a quick and easy blood test.
Results are available within one day of processing.