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What exactly is herpes and how do I avoid getting it? My friends say that having sex without condoms can get me herpes. I’ve had a lot of unprotected sex lately, how shall I know if I got it? Will condoms really protect me from herpes?

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It is possible to get herpes if you had any kind of unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner. This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of this virus and the interesting thing about them is that they can never leave your body - once you get herpes you get it for a lifetime - after a primary episode of genital herpes (which displays its symptoms within two to ten days of exposure, and they are sores, blisters or lesions around vaginal and anal region, around penis, on buttocks or thighs, sometimes even headache, fever, or pain during urination), it remains in your nerve cells and it reoccurs more or less frequent (some people never experience another attack, while others have several in just one year). The sores heal in several days and no scars are visible. If you don’t have these symptoms you probably didn’t get it (yet), but since it is possible that you are in the group of people who are infected, but never develop any of the symptoms described, you should have a thorough check. The usual method which will be applied by your doctor is called viral culture. As for the condoms, they are reliable, but only if sores are covered with condom. Sores and lesions are also possible in areas that are not protected by condoms, so no 100% sure protection is guaranteed.
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