Genital herpes generally refers to the infection caused by type two variety of herpes simplex virus. However, the incidence of infection with herpes simplex virus type one is also on the rise. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. Apart from direct sexual intercourse, oral-genital sexual activities, kissing, and hand-to-body contact can also lead to the transmission of genital herpes. It is estimated that around eight six million people worldwide are infected with genital herpes
Pregnant women who are actively infected with this disease might transmit the infection to their babies during vaginal delivery. Such a case of transmitted infection may either be localized (for example, in the eyes alone) or distributed throughout the body. If the infection is disseminated, it is usually found to have a direct association with the central nervous system.
Herpes simplex is caused by Herpes-virus hominis. Oral and respiratory secretions that affect the skin and mucous membranes generally transmit type one variety of herpes. Type two herpes primarily affects the genital area and is transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact. Cross-infection may result from orogenital contacts.
An active transmission of genital herpes occurs when a person engages in sexual relationship with someone who is having herpes “outbreak.” When active, the virus causes visible sores in the genital area. These sores shed viruses that can infect another person. In some cases, no sores will be formed on the genital parts of an infected person. Still, the transmission of this disorder is likely.
A person with genital herpes can also infect a sexual partner while engaged in oral sex. However, the virus is spread only rarely, if at all, by coming into contact with objects such as a toilet seat or hot tub used by an infected person. The symptoms shown vary from one infected individual to another. It is advisable to consult a doctor if you happen to note any sore on the genital area.