Herpes is an infection caused by the virus Herpes simplex. There are two types.
• Type 1 or oral herpes labialis also known as HSV-1 or commonly “wild fire”, primarily infects the mouth, but can also be transmitted to the genitals and anus.
Type 2 or genital herpes, also known as HSV-2 occurs primarily in the genitals. It is very rare that it is transmitted to the mouth.

The herpes virus is most often transmitted during unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) where there is skin contact with an infected area. The risk of transmission is higher when lesions are apparent. However, the virus can be transmitted even when the infected person has no visible manifestation of the disease. The infection can also be transmitted from mother to baby during delivery.


The screening is not recommended for asymptomatic (no symptoms). A blood sample should be taken if the person has symptoms to confirm the diagnosis.

For more information, visit our blog and consult the article (French only): Herpès

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Herpes is the most common STI in North America. Women, men who have sex with men and HIV-positive people are the most affected.

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