Understanding Herpes

Understanding Herpes

Understanding Herpes

Understanding Herpes

Excerpt

Herpes simplex viruses are remarkably complex microbes capable of causing a wide variety of infections, including genital herpes, a common and chronic sexually transmitted disease. Our understanding of the biology of these viruses has increased enormously over the past three decades, as has our recognition of the pervasiveness of herpes simplex virus infections. Greater awareness of the problems associated with sexually acquired herpes simplex virus infection has led to a better understanding of the disease's psychosocial impact. The availability of new antiviral drugs, used in combination with counselling (when appropriate), now allows for the successful management of most herpes infections. Ongoing research holds promise for the development of vaccines to prevent herpes simplex virus disease and possibly for new therapeutic vaccines designed for the treatment of people already infected.

Sooner or later most Americans become infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, the cause of the common fever blister or cold sore. What is alarming is that more than one out of five American adults have also been infected with herpes simplex virus type 2, the most common cause of genital herpes. Surprisingly, most people with genital herpes are unaware that they have been infected, but even those with no recognizable signs or symptoms of disease can be contagious and spread the infection to a sexual partner. This book was written for people who wish to learn about herpes simplex virus. Readers may include those who have recently experienced their first episode of genital herpes as well as those who suffer from recurrent infections, individuals dating a person with genital herpes, close friends and family members who provide . . .

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