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Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease which affects 66% of adults in the UK.

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Aciclovir 400mg 56 tablets


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  • No prescription required
  • Short course of treatment
  • Dispatched from a UK registered pharmacy
Famvir 125mg famciclovir 10 tablets


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  • Effectively treates herpes
  • No prescription required
  • Dispensed from a UK registered pharmacy
Valaciclovir 500mg 42 film-coated tablets


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  • Effective herpes treatment
  • Relieves symptoms
  • Sent from our UK registered pharmacy
Valtrex 500mg valaciclovir 42 film-coated tablets


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  • Treats herpes breakouts
  • Short course of treatment
  • Sent from a registered UK pharmacy

What is herpes?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that can be passed on through anal, oral and vaginal sex. While herpes is classed as an STI, it can be spread without sexual contact.

There are two types of the herpes simplex virus:

  • HSV-1
  • HSV-2

HSV-1 is typically associated with cold sores and ulcers which appear around and inside the mouth. HSV-2 is generally attributed to genital herpes specifically.

Herpes can lie dormant in someone for months or years before causing symptoms. The infection can spread even when there are no visible blisters or sores.

You can catch herpes in several ways:

  • Anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person
  • Genital contact with a cold sore during oral sex
  • Skin-to-skin contact with the infected area

Even if no symptoms are present in you or your partner, the virus can still be transmitted.

The only way of knowing if you have herpes is to get tested by visiting a local GUM or sexual health clinic, GP surgery or hospital.

What are the symptoms of herpes?

Genital herpes typically causes sores or blisters around the genitals. The affected area can be painful and itchy.

While the virus is dormant, you may not experience any symptoms.

How can I prevent herpes?

Using condoms every time you have sex can minimise the risk of transmitting most STIs; however, there may still be genital contact which may spread herpes.

If you knowingly carry the herpes virus - and can identify when a breakout is about to occur - you can speak to your partner about the risk of infection and take appropriate steps to minimise the risk.

These steps may include:

  • Avoiding sex when an outbreak of herpes is present
  • Using barrier methods such as condoms and dams with new sexual partners
  • Don't share sex toys. Wash them or put a condom over them before using them on another partner
  • Taking anti-viral medication to reduce the activity of the virus

Treatments for herpes

While there is no cure for herpes, there are various courses of treatments which can be used to treat the infection.

These treatments include:

These treatments aim to speed up the recovery of breakouts and prevent the virus from spreading to other areas of the body.

Staying safe with Prescription Doctor

When ordering treatments for sensitive conditions, such as STIs, we understand your concerns for privacy. Once the treatment is approved by one of our doctors, our UK-registered dispensing pharmacy will dispense your medicine, and it will be delivered in discreet packaging straight to your door. We dispatch your medication in a plain white box with a security label and contain the box in a plain white bag to ensure your strictest confidence.

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 13/09/2018 Reviewed on: 27/04/2023
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