If a woman with genital herpes has virus present in the birth canal during delivery, herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be spread to an infant, causing neonatal herpes, a serious and sometimes fatal mastinofrancese.comal herpes can cause an overwhelming infection resulting in lasting damage to the central nervous system, mental retardation, . Genital Herpes Pictures that show genital herpes (HSV2) on the body. Genital herpes affects both men and women and can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV). Infection with HSV can cause painful sores and blisters around the lips, genitals, or anus. Sometimes, infection with HSV causes no sores. It is possible to have HSV and not know it.