Taking a Look at Genital Herpes Essays

Taking a Look at Genital Herpes Essays

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Genital herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease most commonly caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), although the rate of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) genital infection has been rising due to the increase in oral-genital transmission. After an initial HSV-2 infection, over 90% of patients experience a reactivation of latent virus residing in the cell bodies of neurons at some point in their lives, and about one-third have frequent outbreaks (>6 per year).1 Although non-lethal and often asymptomatic, recurrent outbreaks as well as the infections potential to the patient’s sexual partners results in significant psychological stress to the patient. Social stigma and shame also add to the negative impact on the patient’s quality of life. 3 While the disease remains incurable, treatment is possible. This paper evaluates three randomized trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy and safety of famciclovir vs. valacyclovir in the episodic treatment of genital herpes.
In the U.S., approximately 17% of adults are seropositive for HSV-2, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Worldwide, the condition has become epidemic and the prevalence is 30%.1 The cost of incident infections was $1.8 billion in 2000, and projected to increase to $2.7 billion by 2025 as the incidence and prevalence continues to rise. Projected cost over the next 25 years is estimated at $61 billion. 5 Approximately 499,655 healthcare visits related to HSV occurred in 2000, with 2,056,1180 pharmacy claims. While these values clearly represent the severity of genital herpes as a public health problem, only 9%-50% of infected individuals are aware of their infection, which results in less healthcare visits th...

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... been limited to the elderly and immunocompromised with ACV and penciclovir. This represents an incredibly rare but serious adverse effect. 8
Based on this review, famciclovir is not superior to valacyclovir as a treatment for genital herpes in reducing outbreak frequency and duration. However, it appears to at least be equally effective, and the shorter single-day dosing schedule of FCV for herpes recurrence may provide a more convenient treatment option for some patients. Further comparative studies are warranted to investigate whether improvements in virologic disease manifestations from previous in vivo murine studies translate into clinically meaningful results. 7 In addition, variations in dosing regimens should be considered. These explorations could potentially have huge implications in regards to herpes patients’ improvements in quality of life.

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