The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the cause of genital and oral herpes infections. HSV-2 attacks the genital area and is sexually transmitted. The risk of transmission is lower during latency, but some chance always exists that the virus is shedding and transmissible at anytime.
Recurrences of HSV-2 occur in most persons due to the renewed multiplication of the virus. This process can occur weeks, months, or years after the initial outbreak, but tends to be frequent within the first year. It is not fully understood what factors trigger a recurrence. Possibilities include sunlight, fever, local physical injury, menstruation, suppression of the immune system or emotional stress.
It is estimated that at least 45 million Americans are infected with HSV-2 and the rate of infection has been increasing in recent years.
Newborns whose mothers have HSV-2, particularly when she has active lesions in the birth canal at the time of delivery, are at risk for contracting herpes. While infection of the fetus or newborn is relatively uncommon, the complications can be serious and may include miscarriage, premature labor, retarded fetal growth, or transmission of the HSV infection to the infant while in the uterus or at the time of delivery.
The Medifocus Guide on Genital Herpes provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of genital herpes?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing genital herpes?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of genital herpes?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of genital herpes?
What treatment options are available for the management of genital herpes?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in genital herpes?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for genital herpes?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about genital herpes?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Testing for type-specific antibody to herpes simplex virus--implications for clinical practice. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2000
Herpes simplex virus: the importance of asymptomatic shedding. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2000
Herpes simplex type 2 infections--an update. Disease-A-Month. 2000
Valaciclovir: a review of its long term utility in the management of genital herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus infections. Drugs. 2000
Impact of antivirals and emergence of drug resistance: HSV-2 epidemic control. AIDS Patient Care & STDS. 2000
Herpes simplex type 2 infections--an update. Advances in Internal Medicine. 2000
Improving the management of genital herpes. Hospital Practice (Office Edition). 1999
New therapies and prevention strategies for genital herpes. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 1999
Identification and treatment of herpes lesions. Advances in Wound Care. 1999
Viral sexually transmitted infections: current management strategies. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy & Therapeutics. 1999
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