Most people who have genital herpes don’t know it. There are often no symptoms. If you have symptoms, the most common ones are painful blisters and sores.
Genital herpes is common in both men and women in the U.S.
Health care providers can diagnose genital herpes by visual inspection if the outbreak is typical, and by taking a sample from the sore(s) and testing it in a laboratory. Genital herpes infections can be diagnosed between outbreaks by the use of a blood test.
You can get genital herpes by having sex with someone who has it, even if your partner shows no signs of the infection. You can also get genital herpes if your genitals touch the infected skin or secretions (like saliva through oral sex) of someone who has it.
There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are treatments for the symptoms. Some medicines can prevent the blisters or make them go away faster.