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Genital herpes - Definition


Genital herpes is a viral disease that is transmitted through sexual intercourse or through direct contact with an infected genital organ. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), mostly type 2. Rounded lesions are visible at the vulva in women, and cause itching and burning. The infection is less visible in men. Genital herpes is highly contagious and sexual relations should be suspended during outbreaks. After an initial infection during the first contact with the virus that often goes unnoticed, but can also give very painful lesions, it remains latent and may cause recurrent outbreaks. During the first infection, antiviral treatment is systematic, when it is prescribed, in case of discomfort or risk of contagion in recurrences.