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Newer trends in the management of genital herpes

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Author(s): Nath Amiya | Thappa Devinder

Journal: Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
ISSN 0378-6323

Volume: 75;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 566;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Acyclovir | Famciclovir | Genital herpes | HIV | Pregnancy | Valacyclovir

ABSTRACT
Management of genital herpes is complex. Apart from using the standard antivirals, an ideal management protocol also needs to address various aspects of the disease, including the psychological morbidity. Oral acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir are recommended for routine use. Long-term suppressive therapy is effective in reducing the number of recurrences and the risk of transmission to others. Severe or disseminated disease may require intravenous therapy. Resistant cases are managed with foscarnet or cidofovir. Genital herpes in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals usually needs a longer duration of antiviral therapy along with continuation of highly active anti retroviral therapy (HAART). Genital herpes in late pregnancy increases the risk of neonatal herpes. Antiviral therapy and/or cesarean delivery are indicated depending on the clinical circumstance. Acyclovir appears to be safe in pregnancy. But, there is limited data regarding the use of valacyclovir and famciclovir in pregnancy. Neonatal herpes requires a higher dose of acyclovir given intravenously for a longer duration. Management of the sex partner, counseling and prevention advice are equally important in appropriate management of genital herpes. Vaccines till date have been marginally effective. Helicase-primase inhibitors, needle-free mucosal vaccine and a new microbicide product named VivaGel may become promising treatment options in the future.
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