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Germs of all sorts are a reality and are everywhere. Ever had a cold sore or canker sore in your mouth or on your lip(s)? That’s probably Herpes, but the very common Herpes Simplex 1. About 90% of Americans have oral herpes, acquired when they were children.

Genital herpes is a very common viral infection caused by Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV 2). It causes itching, tingling, redness, pain, blisters and ulcers, usually around the dick, butt and mouth. Most infections come with no or few symptoms, and therefore can be unrecognized and untreated.

Herpes is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact during anal and oral sex, so avoid the area of an outbreak if you know someone who has herpes. Condoms can reduce but not eliminate risk. There is no cure, but medications can help speed healing time and outbreaks.

One thing to know: HSV infection and active outbreak can increase the chance of HIV transmission and infection by up 6 times.

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