Genital Herpes (HSV-2): Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Complications

Do I have Genital Herpes?

Take our quick quiz to find out if you could have Genital Herpes, including individual recommendations!

Genital Herpes Symptom Checker

When you need herpes testing that’s fast, affordable and reliable, we’re here to help. At STD Authority, we work with clients all over the United States to provide them with the confidential STD testing they need.

We serve clients throughout the country with STD testing services by working with a large network of laboratories. This enables us to ensure herpes testing that is not only affordable to our clients, but also highly convenient.

To deliver herpes testing quickly, we use a very simple three-step process. To get started, all you need to do is select the test you'd like to perform. From there, we can get you set up for herpes testing in your own area with confidential results available from us.

To give you a better understanding of herpes and why herpes testing is so important, we’ve put together some of the most common questions we receive and their answers:

What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is an incurable sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. Generally, HSV-1 affects the mouth, and HSV-2 is the one that causes genital herpes. However, both types can be transmitted from one area to the other during oral sex.


Genital herpes is most often spread through sex with an infected person. Additionally, it is possible to contract genital herpes from other close skin-on-skin contact. Transmission generally happens during:

  • Anal Sex
  • Oral Sex
  • Vaginal Sex

It is also possible for pregnant women to pass the infection on to their baby during childbirth.

Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

No. Viruses don't have cures, but symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment.

Type of Infection

Viral. Caused by the herpes simplex virus.

How is it treated?

Antiviral Medicine. Symptoms are treated with antiviral medications (Zovirax, Famvir, or Valtrex), however there is no cure.

Recovery Time

1 month or longer. The symptoms from the initial outbreak can take over 20 days to disappear.

Can I have sex?

Yes. During your initial outbreak, you should refrain from sex until all symptoms are gone.

Can I get re-infected?

Yes. Once you get infected, you will have the virus for life.