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Genital herpes

An extreme close-up illustration of a Herpes Virus.
Illustration of the Herpes virus

What goes wrong

When people catch the herpes virus, you can get different things happening. Some people have very little or no symptoms for weeks or months. Some people develop symptoms within a week.

These can be:

  • Generally feeling unwell, flu-like illness- headache and aches and pains.
  • Tingling and soreness around your 'bits' (your genital area).
  • Red spots on the genital area. These become blisters and then sores.
  • Pain when peeing.

It's caused by

Having sex with someone who has the herpes simplex virus lurking in their body.

How not to get it

If you see someone with blisters down there, don't have sex with them - or at least use a condom.

What to do if you do get it

Go see your doctor or local Genito-Urinary Medicine clinic and get checked out. They won't tell anyone that you have been to see them. They can give you medicine- antivirals,  to help it hurt less and to make sure that it  comes back less.

Q: What's the difference between love and herpes? A: Herpes lasts forever.
Unfortunately, you can't cure herpes. It goes away and then comes back, hiding out, in between, in your nerves. Eighty percent of women get re-occurrences. Recurrent outbreaks tend to be milder and last for less time.

 You can get information at or at the Herpes Virus Association at or on 0845 1232305. Also go to