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It is also possible to contract herpes by contact with skin that does not appear infected.
Transmission happens most often when an infected partner does not know they are infected, and does not have any visible signs or sores. These are commonly referred to as cold sores or blisters.
During an outbreak, women may experience additional pain when peeing, as urine running over the sores can aggravate them. Once you become infected, you will have the virus for life.
Most people who are infected with the virus have very mild to no symptoms the majority of the time.
The average incubation period after exposure is about four days, after which symptoms may begin to appear.
After receiving your question we reached out to a leading herpes expert, Bryan Cullen, the director at the Center for Virology at Duke University. Both strains can cause genital herpes, but HSV-1 usually infects the mouth and produces cold sores.
Cullen is hopeful that a cure for herpes could come within 10 years, once funding hurdles are crossed. Despite funding challenges, Cullen and his team are inching closer to a cure.
Though its health complications are very rarely life threatening, it is often the one that scares us most. It’s most commonly spread through kissing and sexual contact.