Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com. Have a question about herpes you'd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how. Herpes is a common and usually mild infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can cause cold ... Continue Reading
While some people realize that they have genital herpes, many do not. It is estimated that one in five persons in the United States has genital herpes; however, as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus. This is because many people have very mild symptoms that go unrecognized or are mistaken for another condition or no symptoms at all. Because signs can vary a great deal, we recommend that an individual see a healthcare provider to be tested if they have a lesion of any kind. This can be swabbed for a culture test or for ... Continue Reading
While there is no cure for herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections, there are various treatment options available. Treatment for Genital Herpes There are three antiviral medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of genital herpes: Acyclovir: The oldest antiviral medication for herpes is acyclovir. It has been available since 1982 in a topical form (as an ointment) and sold since 1985 in pill form. Acyclovir has been shown to be safe in persons who have used it continuously (every day) for as long as 10 years. Valacyclovir: A ... Continue Reading
Glossary A-D Glossary E-I Glossary R-Z J K Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS)—An AIDS-defining illness consisting of individual cancerous lesions caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels. KS typically appears as pink or purple painless spots or nodules on the surface of the skin or oral cavity. KS also can occur internally, especially in the intestines, lymph nodes and lungs, and in this case is life-threatening. KS frequently occurs in immuno-compromised patients, such as those with AIDS. Killer Cell—A generalized name for immune system cells that ... Continue Reading
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