Herpes (or Herpes Simplex Virus) presents in two different types:

  • Type One is usually found around the mouth and causes cold sores, but it can also affect genital areas
  • Type Two is usually found around the penis and anus, but it can also cause symptoms around the mouth


Symptoms may not always be present, but can include an itching or tingling feeling around the infected area and an outbreak of painful blisters or sores which later form scabs. You may also get flu-like symptoms - like aches, fevers and nausea.

How can you get it?

Many people who have the virus don’t know it, as they may have no symptoms, and these infections are very common. Herpes can be passed on both sexually and non-sexually during skin-to-skin contact, by direct contact with a sore on the mouth, dick or ass and can also be transmitted where there are no obvious symptoms.

How do you know if you have it?

A physical examination of the affected area can detect a herpes outbreak and there are tests available (but may cost to take) - see a doctor.


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  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can infect the mucous lining of the penis, anus or eyes.

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  • Gonorrhoea

    Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that lives in the mucous lining of the penis, throat, anus or eyes.

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  • Syphilis

    Syphilis is a bacterial infection that infects the penis, throat or anus and then spreads to different parts of the body through the bloodstream.

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  • Herpes (HSV)

    Herpes (HSV) presents in two different types.

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  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    Human Papillomavirus (Warts) is the virus that can cause warts on the penis, anus or surrounding areas.

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  • Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

    LGV is a particularly virulent form of the Chlamydia bacteria. It is still rare, but it may become more common over time.

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  • HIV

    ​We comprehensively discuss HIV across our website, so we'll just cover the basics here. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses, which work by invading cells within the body then begin to continually reproduce itself.

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  • Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A causes inflammation in the liver and is the form of the virus which often comes on very quickly and is short-term but severe.

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  • Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. 

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  • Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes serious damage to the liver.

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  • Gut Infections

    Gut Infections are caused by bacteria (such as amoebiasis, shigellosis, giardiasis and salmonellosis).

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  • Molloscum Contagiosum

    Molloscum Contagiosum (MC) is a virus that causes pimple-like lumps on the body.

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  • Pubic Lice (Crabs)

    Pubic Lice (Crabs) are small parasites that grip onto the hair in the genital area.

    Keep reading…
  • Scabies

    Scabies are tiny mites (smaller than crabs) that burrow under the skin to lay eggs.

    Keep reading…
  • Thrush

    Thrush (or Candidiasis) is a yeast infection that irritates the mucous membranes around the genitals.

    Keep reading…
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There is no cure and the virus stays in your body (specifically your brain) for life, but there are treatments that can reduce symptoms and speed up recovery. The possibility of repeated outbreaks varies from person to person, but outbreaks may become less frequent and over time may stop all together.

I'm living with HIV

Outbreaks of herpes can be more severe and last longer for those with HIV. HIV viral loads can peak during outbreaks and increase transmission risk to partners of both herpes and HIV – however, if you have undetectable viral load, there is no risk of HIV transmission for your partner.


Condoms can reduce the risk of transmission. There is also strong evidence that taking anti-HSV medications greatly reduces the risk of passing herpes on to partners.

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