Genital herpes is an STD caused by HSV-1 and HSV-2. More than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. Transmission of HSV occurs by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease. Oral herpes can spread from the mouth to the genitals through oral sex.
Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms. However, herpes usually appears as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth, leaving painful genital ulcers and itching. Genital herpes may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever, malaise, headache, burning urination, body aches, or tender local inguinal gland
There is no cure for herpes. However, antiviral therapies can prevent or shorten outbreaks.
Prompt initiation of therapy, within 72 hours of onset of clinical symptoms, is important to obtain maximal clinical benefit. However, antiviral therapy is still be offered to patient who presents after this time frame with ongoing lesions and significant pain.
Episodic therapy is the treatment of an acute HSV outbreak with an antiviral medication (such as Acyclovir or Valtrex)
Chronic suppressive therapy involves daily antiviral therapy. This therapy is reserved for patients with a diagnosis of herpes and frequent HSV outbreaks