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Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects both males and females and causes sores on the genitals. Genital herpes is caused either by the herpes simplex virus 1 or the herpes simplex virus 2.
Individuals that carry the herpes virus may only experience mild symptoms or, sometimes, none at all. Condoms do not protect against the transmission of the herpes virus, which is spread by contact with the fluids found in the herpes sore. Herpes can be contracted from having vaginal, oral, or anal sex, and can be spread even when an individual is not experiencing an outbreak of sores. Individuals that have genital herpes are at a greater risk for giving or receiving HIV.