Transmission, symptoms and screening for genital herpes
How is genital herpes transmitted?
Genital herpes is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, especially during sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal or anal). It can be passed on even if you have no symptoms or visible lesions. There is no cure; infected people will have repeated episodes of symptoms.
What are the symptoms of genital herpes?
The first symptoms usually occur between 6 and 21 days after contact. Many people do not realize this at first and cannot determine if they are infected. Genital herpes is characterized by small vesicles in the vagina, vulva or cervix; on or around the penis or testicles and anus; on the thighs or buttocks; on the mouth. The vesicles begin with redness, which then become small blisters, which break and form small, painful wounds. The skin becomes covered with a scab and then heals. The primary episode is often the most severe and differs from recurrences.
Pain when urinating
Fever and joint and muscle pain
Generalized malaise, fatigue, nausea
Appearance of lesions
Fewer lesions than in the initial episode
Itching or tingling at the infection site
How to get tested?
Sampling of a lesion and culture or nucleic acid amplification (PCR)