The clinical management of genital herpes
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- Samraj, S. & Patel, R. Eur Clinics Obstet Gynaecol (2006) 2: 191. doi:10.1007/s11296-006-0051-8
Genital herpes infections may be caused by either the herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2 (HSV-1 or HSV-2). The changing patterns of HSV-1 acquisition in childhood have meant that many individuals will acquire this disease in adult life when at least one third of such late infections will involve the genital area. In many parts of the world, HSV-1 is the principal cause of acquisition of HSV disease. However, the majority of cases of frequent and severe genital disease remain due to HSV-2. The management of genital HSV infections involves a careful assessment of the impact of the disease upon the patient. Such an assessment must take into consideration not only the severity and frequency of the disease, but also the impact of infection upon the patient’s psychosexual well-being as well as any concerns around the management of transmission to partners or neonates. Antiviral therapy, if indicated, can be carefully tailored to maximize its impact on symptoms, complications or concerns.