About Herpes

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Herpes is a highly-contagious viral infection that is transmitted by the exchange of bodily fluids, whether it be vagina, oral or anal sexual contact. Learn important facts about this rapidly-spreading disease with health information from a physician's assistant in this free video on medical conditions.

Part of the Video Series: Medical Health Facts
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Video Transcript

Basic information about herpes. Herpes is a very highly contagious viral infection, mostly obtained by having sexual or intimate relationships with a person who has sores that are herpetic in nature. And this can occur by vaginally, orally, and anally. The statistics on herpes show that it is one of the most rapidly spreading infections -- sexual infections -- in America today. It's estimated that one out of four to five people have actually contracted the herpes virus in America. The person that's most infectious while these blisters are present because the virus -- active virus -- is actually contained in the fluid from the blisters. However, a person can transmit the infection even if the blisters are not present. Once these blisters heal, the virus actually moves from the skin area of the outbreak back up into the nervous system where it resides dormant until some other stimulants causes it to move out to cause another outbreak in the same exact spot. There are treatments to help reduce the number of flare-ups or infections at the skin level, but people can still transmit this disease, as stated before, without the blisters being present. It is important to let any sexual partner know that you have genital herpes before encountering in or being involved in intimate relationships with that person.

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