Limited testing services are open. If you have had a risk situation and need to get tested, please call our helpline 0207 465 705. It is possible to get an appointment or a free home test kit.


Herpes can manifest on the lips or genitals. Both types are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

How is it transmitted?
Herpes is transmitted through contact with lesions, scabs or blisters.

The virus can be transmitted when kissing or during intercourse, either between genitals or from the genitals to the anus. In oral sex, labial herpes can be transmitted to the genitals and genital herpes to the lips.

• the infected area develops blisters, which burst within a few days and heal once they have cicatrised
• a recurring bout of herpes involves milder symptoms for a shorter period of time compared to the initial infection

Herpes symptoms can recur as a result of factors such as stress, mechanical irritation, another infection or, for women, during menstruation.

When should you get tested?
If you develop symptoms.

How it is tested?
• herpes blisters are visible to the eye

No curative treatment for the herpes simplex virus exists. Antiviral medication can prevent the virus from replicating, shorten the duration of symptoms, expedite healing, and prevent the recurrence of symptoms.

Avoiding intercourse with non-infected partners is recommended during the symptomatic stage. A condom will protect you from contracting herpes if it covers the entire area of blisters or lesions.