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Am I infected with the herpes simplex virus?

Q: I am a 36 years old married man. There are round, multiple clusters in my penis. I think I am infected with HSV-2 virus. Please tell me medicine for this disease.

A:Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs), causing a wide variety of illnesses, are of 2 types - HSV-1 and HSV-2. The infections may be asymptomatic in up to 80% of patients, but when symptomatic, they cause significant illness and are often recurrent. HSV-1 is transmitted by contact with infected saliva, while HSV-2 is spread sexually or from a mother’s genital tract infection to the baby at the time of delivery. The virus is transmitted by close personal contact and spreads when inoculated in the mouth, cervix, and conjunctiva or through small breaks in the skin. HSV-2 reactivates far more frequently in the genital region and its recurrence rate is much higher. The treatment is specific antiviral drugs with activity against viral DNA synthesis. These drugs inhibit the division of the virus and may suppress clinical manifestations but do not cure the disease. As the virus remains latent in nerve cells, there is no difference is the rate of relapse in treated and untreated patients. Your partner should be tested too and abstinence must be practiced while the lesions are present. The use of condoms minimises exposure but the virus may still spread to areas not covered by the condom. Fungal infection (candidiasis) is often seen in women and must be ruled out. Please consult a physician who can examine you and then prescribe the appropriate medicines(s).

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