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It goes without say that herpes is not a pleasant disease. People who are infected with the herpes virus will get blisters or sores on their privates and/or mouth. Not only can it be painful to deal with, it can also cause some embarrassment for the person when there are very visible sores.

Dr Coni Liu, a specialist at the DSC Clinic, tells us more.

Dr Liu says: Herpes is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus, which causes blisters and erosions in the oral cavity in type 1, or the genitalia in type 2, with some exceptions.

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Most viral infections in humans have no effective anti-viral medications for “cure”, but it depends on the body’s immune system to keep the virus in check. The first episode is usually severe, causing significant distress to the patient. Subsequent recurrences are milder, and sometimes go unnoticed by the patient.

During times of stress, illness or low immunity, the recurrences may be more frequent. The concern most patients have is passing the virus to their partner(s). Fortunately, viral shedding and transmission are very low when the skin is healed and intact, but during acute episodes with blisters and erosions, sex should be avoided to prevent transmission.”

The bad news is, herpes cannot be cured. The good news is, it can be managed. You can still have a sex life if you have herpes – just don’t do it when you’re having an outbreak, because you can spread the virus to your partner.

Text: Sophie Hong/Cleo