Diagnosing and Managing Genital Herpes

A two-part conversation with Terri Warren, RN, ANP

In this two-part episode of ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast, Terri Warren, RN, ANP—nurse, author, and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Portland, Oregon that specializes in the genital herpes infection—explains the tests that can provide an accurate genital herpes diagnosis and how they work and clarifies that a physical exam alone should never be the final diagnosis for anyone, for many reasons. She also discusses the importance of knowing herpes type and offers helpful insight into how to put a herpes infection into proper perspective.

Part One: Herpes Diagnostics

There are many approaches to diagnosing herpes including blood tests, swab tests, and– believe it or not – even eyeballing suspected symptoms and making a judgment call! Warren covers which tests should be used (spoiler alert: the eyeball approach is not recommended), who should have them, and how to make sense of the results.

Part Two: Love, Sex, and Herpes

In part two of our conversation, Terri Warren offers strategies to effectively manage herpes in a relationship and deal with the emotional aspects of the diagnosis.

More to Explore

Herpes Vaccine Research

There are currently both preventive and therapeutic vaccines under development. While the primary focus is on HSV-2, the primary cause of genital infection, HSV-2 vaccines may also have benefits in preventing or treating HSV-1 infection.

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Herpes and Relationships

The best way for couples to deal with herpes is to talk about it openly and make decisions together. So what’s the best way to start the conversation?

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Genital Herpes and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and you have genital herpes, you may be concerned about the risk of spreading the infection to your baby. Be reassured that the risk is extremely small.

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Treatment Options for Herpes Infections

While there is no cure for herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections, there are various treatment options available that can help manage symptoms and control outbreaks.