Better Health Channel
  • Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmissible infections (STIs). It is also known as herpes simplex virus (or HSV).
  • Genital herpes can be spread by vaginal, oral or anal sex and through skin to skin contact.
  • Many people with genital herpes do have not symptoms.
  • Testing for genital herpes is usually done by taking a swab from the sore or painful area.
  • Recurrences of genital herpes usually become less frequent and less painful over time.
  • There is no cure for herpes, but treatment helps ease symptoms and prevent recurrences.
  • Anyone who is diagnosed with genital herpes before or during pregnancy should discuss this with their antenatal care provider. 

Give feedback about this page

More information

Content disclaimer

Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Reviewed on: 17-10-2023