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HERPES -- MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK

A study from the University of Washington estimates that one out of four Americans has genital herpes simplex virus and only one in five knows that he or she has it. People with herpes can be contagious, even when they have no symptoms, but taking Famvir or Valtrex often can stop the virus from spreading.

Genital herpes is characterized by grouped blisters, ulcers or crusts on the genitals, around the anus or buttocks. Blood tests are not dependable because everyone who has ever had herpes will usually have a positive blood test forever. The only dependable test for herpes is a culture of the virus. Almost all North Americans have had herpes, but only seven percent get blisters recurrently.

If you have had only one bout of herpes, you do not need treatment. If you get more than four attacks of herpes per year, you can take one Valtrex or Famvir pill a day for 3 years and have an 80 percent chance of not getting an outbreak by your third year. See report #G300.

New England Journal of Medicine, March 23, 2000

Checked 9/3/05

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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