Genital Herpes (Herpes Simplex, HSV, Herpes Genitalis)

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Herpes Simplex:

  • Genital herpes is caused by a virus called Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
  • The most common symptom is a cluster of painful blisters or sores, usually on the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis or anus
  • Symptoms may last several weeks, go away and then return, weeks, months or even years later
  • They are spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the infection
  • It is possible to transmit the virus even if there are no open sores present
  • The majority of cases of herpes are transmitted when there are no obvious skin lesions present
  • It is very unlikely to get herpes from touching a toilet seat, towel or doorknob
  • Contact with herpes on other parts of the body (e.g. a cold sore) may cause genital herpes
  • Herpes may appear weeks, months or years after sexual relations with an infected person, or they may never appear at all
    • This makes it difficult to know exactly when or from whom an infected person got the virus


  • Avoid sexual contact if you feel tingling, burning or itching where sores were before
    • This may be a sign of a new outbreak
  • Do not have intercourse until all sores and scabs are gone
  • Condoms do not offer complete protection
  • Do not touch the sores and wash your hands well after going to the bathroom
  • Wash your hands carefully before touching contact lenses
  • A variety of  pills are available
  • Please talk to your doctor about your treatment options
  • For more information, visit the website of the Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association, by clicking here