Medical Definition of Genital herpes

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 10/30/2018

Genital herpes: An infection by human herpes virus that is transmitted through intimate contact with the moist mucous linings of the genitals. This contact can involve the mouth, the vagina, or the genital skin. Following infection, the virus travels to nerve roots near the spinal cord and settles there permanently. When an infected person has a herpes outbreak, the virus travels down the nerve fibers to the site of the original infection; when it reaches the skin, redness and blisters occur. Commonly called herpes.

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Condoms are the best protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). See Answer

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018