Cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox and shingles come from the same family, the herpes family. Genital herpes, the herpes simplex type 2, is highly contagious and is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Genital herpes causes redness, itching, burning, and soreness in the genital organs and anus. Blisters appear several days after genital sex and take about 3 weeks to heal. They do not usually leave scars when they heal. Outbreaks are sometimes accompanied with fever, swollen glands, and pain while urinating.
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