Herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are many different viruses in this family, including chicken pox and mono, but each one is separate and different from the others. HSV is a common and usually mild but recurring skin condition. About 50-80 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes, which can be passed by kissing. About one in five adults in the United States has genital herpes, but as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus.
Herpes can be spread to anyone who is sexually active through direct skin-to-skin contact (this is usually limited to mucous membranes like the mouth and genitals). If a person with oral herpes performs oral sex, it is possible for the partner to get genital herpes. Herpes can be transmitted, even if there are no symptoms present, although this is more rare. Signs of genital herpes include sores, blisters, cuts, pimples, bumps, or a rash; flu-like symptoms; and painful urination with a discharge. There are accurate tests for herpes, but there is currently no cure. There are medications out there to help stop the spread of an outbreak as well as to relieve symptoms. Check out these sites to find out more comprehensive information.