Quick Facts about Herpes
  • Herpes simplex virus can cause small blisters or sores on the mouth or genitals.
  • About 80 percent of American adults have oral herpes (cold sores).
  • An estimated 25 percent of adults in the United States have genital herpes. Most don't know it because their symptoms are too mild to notice.
  • Herpes is most easily spread during an active outbreak or during prodrome --the few days just before an outbreak.
  • Herpes is uncomfortable but not dangerous.
  • Herpes does not effect the immune system or lead to other health problems.
  • Herpes can be spread even when no symptoms are present.
  • The surest way to prevent the spread of genital herpes is to avoid sex during an active outbreak.
  • Always use condoms between outbreaks.
  • Most couples decide together how to reduce the risk.