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Causes of Herpes

The article will explain the different causes of herpes so you can be better equipped to identify and protect yourself from contracting this infection.

  • 11 Oct 2023
  • 2 min read

Herpes is an incredibly common viral infection, and, as such, it’s important to understand the causes of herpes. Unfortunately, many people do not have a full understanding of what these viruses are or how they are transmitted- even though a majority of individuals will encounter them at some point in their lives. In this article, we will explain the different causes of herpes so you can be better equipped to identify and protect yourself from contracting this infection.


How is Herpes Caused?

The following are some of the most common causes of herpes:

  • Herpes spreads via physical contact or contact with fluid from a sore. Once contracted, these viruses persist for life. The virus resides primarily in nerve cells in a dormant state. Periodically, the virus may reactivate, leading to oral or genital herpes outbreaks.
  • Both oral and genital herpes stem from HSV infection. HSV infection is generally transmitted through contact with a herpes sore or active virus in asymptomatic individuals. The condition is generally known as asymptomatic shedding.
  • Ever wondered what causes herpes on skin? HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes (cold sores) and is transmitted through non-sexual contact like kissing or touching. However, it can also be passed to the genitals through oral sex. In fact, HSV-1 has become a common cause of genital herpes, especially in young women.
  • HSV-2 predominantly causes genital herpes, primarily transmitted through intimate sexual contact.


Several risk factors significantly raise the likelihood of herpes infection, including:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Multiple partners
  • Anonymous partners
  • Prior STIs

It is important to note that genital herpes risk is higher in females than biological males.

Additionally, you should look into what is your health insurance coverage regarding herpes.


Herpes spreads through physical contact or fluid from sores, with asymptomatic shedding being a concern. Understanding these causes is crucial for timely intervention. Risk factors with respect to causes of herpes include unprotected sex and multiple partners; females face a higher genital herpes risk than males.

The above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your Doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

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