Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

8 Common STDs

From HIV to herpes, get the facts

Herpes

What is it?

Herpes is a virus that affects the mouth, lips and tongue (oral herpes) or the penis, vulva, vagina, and anus (genital herpes). One strain of the virus, herpes simplex type 1, usually causes oral sores, while another strain — type 2 — usually causes genital sores. But either type of herpes virus can infect either area of the body.

What are the symptoms?

Oral herpes causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth.

Genital herpes may cause similar breakouts on the or near the genitalia. The symptoms can disappear after a few weeks and reappear weeks or months later. Often, there are no symptoms or mild symptoms that go unnoticed, such as headache, chills, and fever. More serious signs of infection include burning upon urination or itching and pain in the infected area.

How is it spread?

Oral and genital herpes are spread through physical contact, including kissing and vaginal and anal sex. The virus is most contagious when open sores are present but it can be spread at anytime. Since herpes can be asymptomatic for years, it’s often difficult to know who infected you with the disease.

How is it diagnosed?

A blood test can determine if you’re infected, even if no symptoms are present. If you have sores, your doctor may test fluids from the blisters to confirm a diagnosis.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for herpes. Medications help manage the infection and can speed up healing of herpes blisters and increase periods between breakouts, but the virus will remain in your body.

Next: Syphillis. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points