According to the CDC genital Herpes is on the rise. Research shows that 90% of the population has been exposed to oral herpes and 25% of the population aged 25-45 in the U.S. has been exposed to genital herpes. An estimated 86 million people worldwide are thought to have genital herpes. More than 1 million new cases of genital herpes are diagnosed in the United States each year as reported by the National Institute of Health.
Joining a support group can lessen the stress associated with this illness. Social and emotional shame can be far worse than the pain of an outbreak. Education and treatment can remedy the social isolation felt.
Genital Herpes cannot be cured. However, treatment can relieve the symptoms. Medication can rapidly decrease the pain and discomfort associated with an out break and can shorten healing time as well. In August of 2003 the FDA approved Valtrex for the reduced risk of heterosexual transmission of genital Herpes to susceptible partners with healthy immune systems when used as suppressive therapy in combination with safer sex practices. Researchers have found that daily doses of antiviral herpes drugs reduce asymptomatic shedding, but whether this suppressive therapy can help prevent transmission is not yet known. These medications do not cure the herpes infection, they suppress the symptoms and have been shown to speed healing time.
For more information:
American Social Health Association
Phone: (919) 361-8400
Web: www.ashastd.org (opens in a new window)
Local Herpes HELP Groups
National Herpes Hotline (919) 361-8488
Web: www.herpes.com (opens in a new window)