In my previous article about being tested for herpes you learned that getting a true positive test result for herpes could require months of possible testing and retesting. If you do test positive for HSV-2, (genital type 2 herpes) or HSV-1 (oral type 1 herpes) but have it in the genital area, then what are your options?
First, there is no cure for herpes. The focus then is on how to relieve and diminish symptoms and how to decrease shedding of the virus to limit transmitting herpes to someone else.
According to WebMD, there are “at least 45 million American adults and adolescents have genital herpes -- that's one out of every four to five people, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases.”
Currently there are three main oral antiviral medications, acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), or valacyclovir (Valtrex), that prevent the virus from multiplying and can shorten the length of time an eruption lasts. The risk of side effects of taking these drugs orally has been found to be low and may improve over time.
Topical medications can be applied to lesions but are less effective than oral ones, stated Medicinenet.com.
The initial outbreak usually has worse symptoms than recurrent ones. However, oral medication is only effective if started before another outbreak begins. For this reason, you need to have a prescription filled and ready to take as soon as you feel any sensation of tingling, itching or burning in the area.
About 90 percent of people with genital herpes do have recurrent outbreaks, stated Medicine.net. Some people only have a couple a year, others have several. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) pointed out that typically outbreaks diminish over time as the body develops antibodies to the virus.
For those who have more than six recurrences a year, suppressive therapy can be given where you take antiviral medication all the time. All three of the above drugs can be used that way.