Herpes Simplex Virus HSV


There are two types of the Herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 is primarily associated with oral infection, and the HSV-2 is primarily associated with genital infection. HSV-2 is present in about 20% of adults.


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What you should know 

Risks for transmission 

  • HSV-2 is most commonly transmission by unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse 
  • It can also be transmitted from the mother to the baby during pregnancy and delivery 
  • HSV- 1 is most commonly transmitted by oral or genital sex 
  • Up to 70% of all genital HSV-2 infections are transmitted when people are not having any symptoms or lesions. This is called “asymptomatic shedding.” 


Primary Infection 

  • Flu-like symptoms including fever, headache and sore muscles 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Inflammation in the nervous system (aseptic meningitis) in up to one quarter of cases 
  • Pain while urinating 
  • Genital pain 
  • Presence of genital ulcers 
  • Symptoms resolve after approximately 15 to 23 days 

                                  Herpes Simplex Virus HSV
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Herpes Simplex Virus HSV


Recurrent Infection 

  • Slightly less severe than initial infection 
  • A slight tingling, itching, or burning may be a sign that an active outbreak is coming 
  • These can be triggered by stressors (such as illness, surgery, emotional stress), the menstrual cycle, sexual intercourse, surgery, and some medications 
  • Infection from oral sex can cause sores inside the mouth or on the lips of both men and women 
  • Symptoms typically appear within two to twenty days of infection 
  • Symptoms resolve after approximately 9 to 11 days 


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  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse 
  • Avoid sexual intercourse if your partner is having a prodrome (early symptoms) 
  • Avoid sexual intercourse if you or your partner is having active genital or oral lesions 


  • Herpes is tested by swabbing an active lesion 
  • A blood test can also detect HSV-1 or 
    HSV-2 infections 
  • Sexual partners from the 60 days prior to prodrome onset should be informed if you had an outbreak of Herpes; they can consider blood tests to see if they carry Herpes as well. 



  • There is no known cure for Herpes 
  • Antiviral medication is effective to decrease the duration and severity of the outbreaks 
  • To be most effective these treatments must be started immediately after the prodrome symptoms appear 


  • By themselves HSV-1 and HSV-2 are generally not considered a serious health risk. 
  • Infected pregnant women can pass the virus to infants during birth, causing lesions and possibly life-threatening infections of the central nervous system of the baby. 
  • In very small number of cases HSV can cause meningitis or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). 
  • Herpes infection of the eye can cause scarring of the cornea and even blindness. 
  • Herpes increases the risk of transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. People with HIV can have particularly severe outbreaks of HSV, which can be a sign they have progressed to have AIDS. 



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Herpes Dating Site Advice 2019

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