Herpes simplex is a viral infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), one of the herpesviridae. There are two types of Herpes Simplex Virus: HSV Type 1 and HSV Type 2. The ways in which herpes infections manifest themselves vary tremendously among individuals. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. It is widespread, affecting an estimated 1 in 4 females and 1 in 5 males in the United States. Although certain therapies can prevent outbreaks or reduce the risk of transmission to partners, no cure is yet available.

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