DPH: Herpes




Genital herpes is a common infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2. In the United States, about one in five adults has genital herpes. However, most don’t know they are infected.


The virus is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact when the virus is in an active phase, generally through sexual activity such as intercourse, oral sex, and genital touching.  Even when there are no visible signs, herpes can be active. Antiviral medications are available that can shorten herpes outbreaks, lower the chance of recurrence, and may lessen the chance of infecting a partner.


Symptoms of herpes infection include: sores, blisters, fever, and swollen glands, especially near the groin. Most of these signs and symptoms are mild and are often not recognized as genital herpes. Because of this, most infected people are unaware that they have the virus. The herpes virus is more easily transmitted from men to women, with women five times more likely to become infected. African Americans are three times more likely to become infected with the herpes virus than whites. Also, individuals who are unaware that their partners are infected are at greater risk of getting herpes.


A major complication of genital herpes is the transmission to newborns. Pregnant women with active herpes are at risk of transmitting the infection to their babies. When this happens it can cause developmental disabilities or even death.


Genital herpes can be prevented through sexual abstinence, using a condom correctly and regularly, a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected person, or refraining from skin-to-skin contact with an infected person when the virus is in an active phase.



Neonatal Herpes


Genital herpes is a chronic, life-long infection causes by the herpes simplex virus.  The majority of people with the infection have never received a positive diagnosis from a physician.  A pregnant mother who contracts herpes late in her pregnancy or has an outbreak at the time of delivery can pass the infection to her child, with possibly fatal consequences.  For this reason, mothers with herpes outbreaks are usually delivered by caesarian section, and their infants are treated with antiviral medication after birth to prevent the development of the infection.



Herpes General Information  (CDC)

Herpes Fact Sheet  (CDC)

Herpes Fact Sheet - en Español  (CDC)

Herpes Treatment  (CDC)

Herpes National Statistics  (CDC)

Herpes and Pregnancy     (ASHA)

Preventing Neonatal Herpes   (ASHA)


Connecticut Herpes Self-help Group
 Town:  Manchester
 Group Name:  Manchester HELP
 Phone/Contact:  (860) 666-0075   (Susan)
 Meeting Location:
 Manchester Memorial Hospital
   Conference Room D - Basement
   71 Haynes Street
   Manchester, CT  06040
 Days/Hrs:  First Tuesday of every month.
   7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 Group Facilitators:  Claire Kaplan, APRN
   Sue LaCapra
   Wendell Windisch
 Email:  Hsv2secret@aol.com
National Herpes Information Contacts
American Social Health Association
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Resource Center Hotline
1-800-227-8922 (Toll Free)
Hours: Monday - Friday
         9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
         Eastern Standard Time
Herpes Resource Center
1-800-230-6039 (Toll Free)
To order publications about herpes.
National Herpes Hotline
1-919-361-8488 (Not Toll Free)
Hours: Monday-Friday
          9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
          Eastern Standard Time

Content Last Modified on 9/23/2015 1:45:57 PM