Genital Herpes Treatment and Care
There is no cure for herpes, but medication is available to reduce symptoms and make it less likely that you will spread herpes to a sex partner.
Is there a cure or treatment for herpes?
There is no cure for herpes. Antiviral medications can, however, prevent or shorten outbreaks during the period of time the person takes the medication. In addition, daily suppressive therapy (i.e. daily use of antiviral medication) for herpes can reduce the likelihood of transmission to partners.
Several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes infection, but there is currently no commercially available vaccine that is protective against genital herpes infection. One vaccine trial showed efficacy among women whose partners were HSV-2 infected, but only among women who were not infected with HSV-1. No efficacy was observed among men whose partners were HSV-2 infected. A subsequent trial testing the same vaccine showed some protection from genital HSV-1 infection, but no protection from HSV-2 infection.
Treatment Guidelines and Updates
- 2010 STD Treatment Guidelines - Genital HSV Infections (December 16, 2010)
Resources for Clinicians
- Updated Genital Herpes Clinical Training (April 17, 2014)
- The Road From Observation to Intervention to Implementation: Perspectives of a Pragmatic HIV Prevention Researcher - STD Prevention Science Series 2012 presentation by Connie Celum, MD, MPH - View Recording (December 17, 2012)
- Genital Herpes Research – from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Page last reviewed: September 8, 2010
- Page last updated: March 4, 2015
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