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Today in Health & Wellness

Herpes Genitalis

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult

Common Name/Other Name

Genital Herpes

Herpes genitalis is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) that affects the male sex organs and female sex organs. It is characterized as blisters or groups of small open sores or ulcers. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease and can be passed from one person to another through sexual intercourse.

Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth and can be spread to the genital area during oral sex.

Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) is the common cause of genital herpes. It spreads through sexual and skin to skin contact. This type of virus is very common and highly contagious.

  • Pain or itching initially after exposure to an infected sexual partner
  • Small red bumps or white blisters may appear several days after infection
  • Skin sores or ulcers which ooze out fluid or bleed when ruptured.
  • Scabs or hard coatings on the infected skin as it heals
  • Flu-like symptoms during initial outbreak (fever, headache, lack of appetite, tiredness, swollen lymph nodes)
  • Pain during urination
Risk Factors

Having multiple sex partners.

Commonly Prescribed Drugs

There are no current drugs that can eradicate HSV infection, however antiviral drugs (acyclovir, valaciclovir, famciclovir) reduces the pain and lessen sores or lesions in the initial outbreak of the virus. These drugs decrease the frequency and lessen the severity of recurrent infections, which minimize the chance of transmitting the virus to another person. Available in oral and topical preparations.

  • Precaution: Renal and hepatic impairment. Pregnant and lactating women. Infants.
  • Side effects: Headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, skin rashes, gastrointestinal and neurological effects, increased serum bilirubin and liver enzymes.
  • Drug interactions: Probenecid, cimetidine, mycophenolate mofetil, high dose of cyclosporine and tacrolimus, other nephrotoxic drugs.
Treatment and Management
  • Abstain from any form of physical (e.g. kissing) and sexual contact if either partner has herpes outbreak.
  • Practice safe sex (use of condom). Take note that the use of condom does not prevent the spread of infection.
  • If pregnant and is positive of HSV infection, let the doctor know. The doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs late in pregnancy to prevent virus outbreak before labor, may suggest cesarean section for the newborn to avoid the risk of passing the infection.
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