Herpes

Genital herpes is an infection of the genitals (penis in men, vulva and vagina in women) and surrounding area of skin, caused by the herpes simplex virus.

What is STD?

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease and are also known as STI (sexually transmitted infection). The infections are passed from person to person through sexual contact. If you are worried you may have an STD, are looking for more information, click below

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It is transmitted via skin to skin contact. Approximately 80% of people infected with genital herpes are unaware of the infection. There are two types of herpes simplex virus:

  • Type 1 herpes simplex virus is the usual cause of cold sores around the mouth. It also causes up to 50% of cases of genital herpes.
  • Type 2 herpes simplex virus usually only causes genital herpes.

Herpes tests are available at select CityDoc clinics for £120. Results from clinics nationwide take 3 to 5 days.


  • Discreet & professional service
    Real names not needed
  • Private clinics with qualified specialists
    Walk-in appointments and online bookings are available
  • Fast STD screens offered
    Early STD screening including HIV from 10 days post contact
  • Fast track chlamydia & gonorrhoea tests available
    Test results are back within 4-5 hours with optional extras
  • Male/Female HPV testing for high-risk subtypes
    STD Testing available by a simple swab
  • CQC registered
    Registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission

The first episode of symptoms may appear months or years after being first infected.

Primary Infection

  • Symptomless
  • Non specific symptoms-fever, aches and pains
  • Blisters around genitals, becoming shallow painful ulcers. The ulcers and blisters can last up to 10-20 days, and then gradually heal and go without scarring.
  • Vaginal discharge, pain on passing urine

Following the primary infection, the virus lies dormant in local nerves and activates, leading to recurrent symptoms of genital herpes if the primary infection was in the genitals.

However, even people who do not get symptoms may, on occasions, have virus in their genital area and therefore be infectious to sexual partners. In fact, this is how many genital herpes simplex infections are passed on.

Recurrent Infection

Recurrences tend to be less severe and shorter than the first episode. It is more usual to have 7-10 days of symptoms with a recurrence, unlike the 10-20 days of symptoms that may occur during the first episode. Most people do not develop a fever and do not feel particularly unwell during a recurrence. A tingling or itch in the genital area for 12-24 hours may indicate a recurrence is starting. The time period between recurrences and the frequency of recurrences is variable. The recurrence rate for HSV 2 is 4 times higher than HSV 1. Recurrences tend to reduce in incidence over time in most people.

Name of TestAvailability / Turnaround
Herpes Test (Swab and Urine)3-5 Working Days

Treatment

Symptomatic management with pain killers and local anaesthetics gels.

Antiviral medication- does not clear the virus from the body, but prevents multiplication. They are useful for a first episode of symptoms and reduces the severity and duration of symptoms if it is started within five days of the onset of symptoms. A five-day course of treatment is usual, but may be extended by a few days if blisters are still forming.

Herpes simplex virus is very contagious when blisters are present. Sexual intercourse should be avoided from the time symptoms first start until they are fully over. Condoms may not fully protect against passing on the virus, as the condom only protects the area that is covered. There is still a small chance that asymptomatic individuals can transmit the viruses during sexual intercourse when you have sex when you do not have symptoms.

Treatment Available at CityDoc

Acute attacks of genital herpes require clinical assessment and anti-viral medication can be issued when appropriate.

Receiving STD results

During your appointment test results and timings will be discussed. All test results are sent to our London based Harley Street laboratory for analysis and results will be sent directly to you once complete. If your results are positive, our specialist team will be in contact and provide NHS referrals if required. We provide treatment nationwide for Chlamydia and in our London flagship clinics we offer treatment for both Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

Receiving results

Sexual health FAQ’s

Are you unsure on the difference between an STD and STI? What happens if I have a positive result? If you are looking for answers to these and other sexual health questions, we have put together a list of FAQ’s for you.

Sexual health FAQ’s

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