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Genital Herpes Treatment

Is there a cure for genital herpes?

No, genital herpes, whether caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 is not a curable sexually transmitted disease. However, antiviral medication is available to help prevent and control symptoms of outbreaks.

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Two-thirds of genital herpes cases are symptomless, and because much of the genitals are left uncovered by condoms, genital herpes can still be contracted during sex even if a condom is used. Our herpes tests are confidential, affordable, and no appointment is needed.

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Can I get re-infected with genital herpes?

You cannot get re-infected with genital herpes as both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are viral infections that remain in the body for life. Once you contract it, the body is unable to get rid of it. You may experience recurring outbreaks in the genital area that might seem like re-infections, but this is not the case. Outbreaks are just the symptoms of genital herpes exposing themselves. Even though you cannot become re-infected, you can infect someone else with genital herpes, especially during an active outbreak. Our doctors recommend getting tested for both herpes type 1 and herpes type 2 since there is no way to tell which of the two viruses you may have otherwise.

Do herpes antiviral drugs help prevent spreading the virus?

Yes but not completely. If you have Herpes-2 but your sexual partner does not, taking a daily dose of your antiviral medication will reduce the chances that your partner could contract the infection. Latex or polyurethane condoms can help lessen the likelihood of spreading or contracting genital herpes, but since condoms do not cover all of the area where herpes may be they are not 100% effective against herpes. Doctors recommend abstaining from sexual activity during herpes outbreaks.

Antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, are the most effective medications available for people infected with herpes. These medications are used to help to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms, however they cannot cure the infection.

  1. "Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm
  2. "Condom Fact Sheet In Brief | CDC." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/brief.html
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. "Genital Herpes: Common but Misunderstood." Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-sexual-health/genital_herpes_common_but_misunderstood
  4. "Genital Herpes - including Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention." SA Health. https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public content/sa health internet/health topics/health conditions prevention and treatment/infectious diseases/genital herpes/genital herpes - including symptoms treatment and prevention

Medically Reviewed by on Jun 18, 2019

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