Genital Herpes and HIV

Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are linked with each other. Genital herpes and HIV risk are closely related. Studies suggested that people infected with herpes simplex 2 are more likely to become infected with HIV than those who were not infected with herpes type 2. There is no cure for this disease, which may consist of painful sores and lesions that recur several times a year, but genital herpes treatment can prevent and lessen outbreaks.

Genital herpes and its symptoms

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by (HSV-2) or type 1 (HSV-1). It is chronic, widespread, and infectious during symptomatic and symptomatic periods. Herpes can affect the genital area, the rectum, the anus, and sometimes legs and buttocks. The infected area becomes painful, and blisters are visible.  Infection is lifelong and may go unnoticed. In some individuals, herpes causes typical outbreaks, while in some cases, the infection is mild and can easily be confused with other skin problems.

Herpes infection is transmitted easily through sexual contact with herpes lesions. It can also pass by contact with the skin, mucous membrane, and secretions from the affected area. Genital infection with HSV-2 is usually transferred during vaginal or anal intercourse, and infection by HSV-1 through oral sexual practice. Oral sexual practice is the cause of the rapid increase of genital infection caused by HSV-1. Herpes simplex virus may cause infection when it reaches the mouth, genitals, rectum, or even through the skin if damaged with a small crack. There are chances of transferring the infection from mother to child, especially during the birth. The risk is even higher if the mother acquires genital herpes late in pregnancy.  Females are more susceptible to infection than men.

Genital herpes symptoms:

Genital herpes symptoms can vary considerably among infected individuals. A few people show signs and symptoms or outbreaks. The first sign starts about a week after infection. These include irritation, itching, burning sensation, or stinging. Red marks can also be visible on the skin or mucous membranes. You can see small blisters or sores after one to two days. They are usually appeared on or around the genital area but can also develop inside the vagina, on the cervix, or in the anus, where they can’t be visible.

Genital herpes in women

Genital herpes women may have no outbreaks or signs of infection. Many of them do not know they have the virus. Once a woman is infected, the virus stays in your nerve cells for life. When the virus is inactive, there are no signs of herpes infection. Once the virus becomes active, a herpes outbreak occurs. Some females may not have any outbreaks or only one outbreak, while others may have multiple outbreaks.

herpes symptoms men

First outbreak

The first outbreak often occurs within fourteen days after contracting the virus from an infected individual. The first HSV2 and HSV 1 symptoms in females may include:

    • Tingling, itching, or burning feeling in the vaginal or anal area
    • Swollen glands Flu-like symptoms, including fever
    • Headache
    • A change in vaginal discharge
    • Painful or difficult urination
    • Pain in the buttocks, legs, or vaginal area
    • A feeling of pressure in the area below the stomach.

After a few days, blisters, painful sores, or ulcers may develop where the virus gets entry into the body. These areas include:

    • The mouth
    • The vaginal or anal area
    • On the cervix
    • Inside the vagina
    • On the buttocks or thighs
    • In the urinary tract
    • On other parts of your body where the virus got the entry

In some cases, the first outbreak will not occur until months or years after infection.    

Other outbreaks

After the first outbreak, you may have more outbreaks. For most people, herpes outbreaks occur less often over time. Herpes symptoms are usually milder than during the first outbreak and resolve faster. For Herpes symptoms women with a weak immune system, outbreaks can be severe and long-lasting.

Herpes in men

Herpes symptoms men include:

    1. The most common symptoms of herpes in men are no symptoms at all. Rarely symptoms appear and will likely begin 2 to 12 days after exposure to the virus. After a herpes outbreak, the virus remains dormant in your body, meaning you will always have it, even with no visible signs or symptoms.
    2. If symptoms are visible, they are often very mild and can be mistaken for things like ingrown hairs or spots. Herpes lumps and bumps could appear as sores, white blisters, red bumps, or scabs. Herpes is passed on via skin-to-skin contact, so symptoms of herpes in men will usually appear on the butt cheeks, thighs, around the anus, in/around the mouth, in the urethra (penis or front hole), or scrotum areas.
    3. Some may develop flu-like symptoms such as fever and aches, less likely than visible sores. You could also develop swollen lymph nodes. These flu-like symptoms are more common in the first outbreak of herpes. The visible signs might be accompanied by pain, itching, or general tenderness until the infection clears up.
    4. If your lumps and bumps turn into ulcers, they might cause you some pain when urinating. Some of these sores of genital herpes men might be hidden inside the urethra. You might find it tough to take a pee, too.

Some patients with herpes infection may complain of painful symptoms, while others get mild. During the first herpes outbreak, one can experience fever, aches, swollen glands in the groin, pain, and as well as vaginal discharge. In some cases, women find difficulty urinating. After anal intercourse with someone who is infected with the virus, the rectum becomes infected, which may cause pain, mucus, or blood in the stools.

Genital herpes and HIV

If you have genital herpes symptoms, this means you are at a high risk of being infected with HIV. Studies show that those who have genital herpes sores are more likely to be affected with HIV during sexual practice. Genital herpes can worsen the effects of HIV. According to clinical research, the Herpes virus is active, and it may encourage the process of replication, in which the HIV can make more copies of itself. These copies of HIV will destroy more of the body’s infection-fighting cells, eventually leading to Auto Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV can make an outbreak of genital herpes prolonged and much more serious.

Additionally, there is also a great risk of recurrent outbreaks. In these cases, more intensive and long-term genital herpes care is required. During an outbreak of herpes infection, an individual is at a higher risk of developing HIV, and they, if they developed HIV, will be more infectious during a herpes outbreak.   


There is no genital herpes cure. Hence, there are no genital herpes treatments available that can get rid of the infection. It remains in your body for a lifetime and may reappear. But the good news is that there is genital herpes medication available in the pharmaceutical industry that shortens the outbreaks. Daily use of antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten. It works to stop the virus from multiplying in the body, preventing the spreading of the virus.   

Knowing that you have herpes vaginal infection can be very distressing. Many people find it difficult to talk about it with their partner. Speaking openly about the condition may help you find what is appropriate. After all, many have herpes viruses in their body, and anyone sexually active can become infected. You can buy medications online that are used in herpes simplex 2 treatment to prevent outbreaks.


Herpes in men and women can’t be cured, and a healthcare professional can prescribe treatments that will reduce symptoms and speed up your recovery. They will also be able to advise you on how to manage any future herpes flare-ups.    

Also Read: How are herpes transmitted: A Detailed Guide

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