Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is the same virus that causes cold sores.

Some people develop symptoms of HSV a few days after coming into contact with the virus. Small, painful blisters or sores usually develop, which may cause itching or tingling, or make it painful to urinate.

After you've been infected, the virus remains dormant (inactive) most of the time. However, certain triggers can reactivate the virus, causing the blisters to develop again, although they're usually smaller and less painful.

It's easier to test for HSV if you have symptoms. Although there's no cure for genital herpes, the symptoms can usually be controlled using antiviral medicines.

If you have no symptoms and want a straightforward test you can:

  • either order a smart kit online for home delivery
  • or attend one of our clinics where you can collect a smart kit without needing to wait and see a clinician.

This is a quick, easy and confidential way to screen for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis.

Call our appointments line for more information about sexual health services in Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.

0333 300 2100 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm).

Read more about genital herpes via the NHS Choices website ยป