Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE GENITAL HERPES DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), usually of the viral subtype HSV-2 but sometimes of the subtype HSV-1. The family of HSV viruses typically causes blisters, ulcers and sores on the skin and mucous membranes, usually either around the mouth area of the face, or on the genitals, and the infection also can involve the nervous system. Classically, HSV infections on the face tend to involve HSV-1 while genital infections tend to involve HSV-2, but each viral subtype can infect the other body region. As with a herpes infection on the face, a genital infection with HSV can be primary (newly acquired), or the virus can become latent (kept in check by the immune system but not eliminated completely) and then recur in outbreak episodes.


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