What should be included in patient education for herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Because increasing rates of STIs are occurring in adolescents, offer patients regular and appropriate education in sexual health as well as in the diagnosis and treatment of their diseases. The presence of an STI should prompt assessment and potential treatment for other infections (eg, chlamydia, HIV infection, syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C).

Antiviral therapy may decrease the duration of clinical manifestations of herpes simplex virus disease but does not cure the infection.

Initiate antiviral therapy as soon as possible after signs and symptoms of disease are noted.

Daily suppressive management with oral antiviral agents reduces the frequency of herpes simplex virus recurrences and viral shedding. Consider antiviral suppressive therapy in adolescents with frequent genital recurrences (6 or more per year).

Condom use decreases the risk of the sexual transmission of HSV-2 [88] .

For patient education resources, see the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Center, as well as Genital Herpes, Birth Control Overview, and Birth Control FAQs.

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