Hello, girls! Today we are going to dive into the world of herpesviruses, focusing on the sexually transmitted HSV-1 and HSV-2 types. These viruses have the peculiar ability to enter a latent state after the initial infection, hiding within cells and being able to reactivate later, similar to how other herpesviruses such as chickenpox and mononucleosis do.

Herpesviruses: An Overview

Although more than 100 types of herpesviruses exist, only eight affect humans, standing out for their latency capacity. Most of us harbor some type of herpesvirus, with HSV-1 and HSV-2 being common in genital infections. Interestingly, the prevalence of HSV-1 in genital infections has increased, making up 50% of these infections in the United States, due to changes in childhood exposure and the increase in receptive oral sex in adults.


Symptoms of Herpes HSV-1 and HSV-2

Herpes is a viral infection that can manifest itself in different ways, depending on whether it is herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Below is a list of common symptoms associated with each type:

Symptoms of HSV-1 (Oral Herpes):

  • Blisters or cold sores on the lips, around the mouth, or, less commonly, on the face or inside the mouth.
  • Tingling, itching, or burning sensation before sores appear.
  • Sore throat and difficulty swallowing (in cases of pharyngeal herpes).
  • Fever and general malaise , especially during the initial outbreak.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck during an initial outbreak.

Symptoms of HSV-2 (Genital Herpes):

  • Blisters or sores on the genitals, rectum, thighs, or buttocks, which eventually open and become painful ulcers.
  • Tingling, itching, or burning sensation in the genital area before the sores appear.
  • Pain when urinating , especially when the sores are in the urethra.
  • Vaginal discharge in women or urethral discharge in men.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin during an initial outbreak.

It is important to note that many people infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 may show no symptoms or have symptoms so mild that they are not recognized as herpes. Additionally, symptoms can vary considerably between individuals, and some may experience general symptoms such as fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes during an outbreak.

If you suspect you may have herpes, it is crucial that you consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Infection and Reactivation Process

Infection with these viruses usually begins in the skin of the vulva, vagina or anus, with women being more susceptible to infection than men. After initial replication, the virus takes refuge near the spinal cord in a latent state, and can reactivate and manifest again near the site of original infection or asymptomatically.

Evolution of HSV-1 and HSV-2 Transmission


Understanding this cycle of infection and reactivation is crucial, as it is not always easy to differentiate between an initial infection and a reactivation. Additionally, the distribution of HSV-1 has evolved; It is no longer limited to the mouth, nor HSV-2 exclusively to the genitals. Acquired immunity against HSV-1 may offer some protection against genital infection with the same type, but not against HSV-2. However, prior HSV-1 infection can attenuate the severity of HSV-2.

Prevalence and Diagnosis of Herpes


About 80% of people with herpes are not aware of their condition, since the symptoms are often confused with other infections or are asymptomatic. It is important to mention that genital herpes increases the risk of contracting HIV and can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth, known as neonatal herpes, which can have serious consequences.

Available Treatments

There are several treatments available that can help relieve symptoms. These medications can be used in both initial and recurrent outbreaks, reducing the duration of the lesions. Additionally, daily suppressive therapy may decrease the frequency of outbreaks and transmission of the virus.

As you take care of yourself and consider the best treatment for herpes, remember to also take care of your daily intimate well-being. Menstrual panties are a great option to maintain hygiene and comfort, especially if you are dealing with herpes outbreaks. Discover our selection of menstrual panties designed for your health and comfort in our online store .

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