What is herpes?
Herpes is a lifelong sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes virus. Usually people infected with the virus will have no symptoms most of the time, but several times a year it can reactivate and cause symptoms3. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Statistics Canada estimates that about 1 in 7 Canadians aged 14 to 59 may be infected2.
How do you get herpes?
It is most commonly spread by sexual contact via vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who’s infected with the herpes virus4.
Who gets the infection?
Anyone sexually active can get the infection but there are some factors that will increase your risk. These are:
- Women – the virus is transmitted more easily from men to women3.
- Having multiple sexual partners3 – This increases your chance of having sex with someone who is already infected.