Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is more commonly associated with cold sores or blisters in and around the mouth. Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. Genital herpes is a viral infection, which means that while symptoms can be treated, it cannot be cured.
Most of the time people infected with herpes show no signs of the infection. Signs of herpes in the mouth include cold sores and blisters that usually hurt. Signs of genital herpes include similar blisters (usually one or two) on or around the genitals and/or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender sores that may take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur. Over time the frequency of outbreaks will diminish, but the virus does not disappear.
Other signs and symptoms during an initial outbreak may include a second crop of sores, and flu-like symptoms, including fever and swollen glands. But most people with HSV-2 infection may never have sores, or they may experience mild signs that they do not even notice or that they mistake for insect bites or another skin condition.
Information taken from the Center for Disease Control Genital herpes Fact Sheet