Side effects and treatment of Genital herpes

STD-10: Reduce the Proportion of Young Adults with Genital Herpes Infection due to Herpes Simplex Type 2

  1. Background Information

Genital herpes instigated by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is a rampant, sexually transmitted disease throughout the world. An infected person may develop sores in various locations of the body, including the mouth, genital, and ana areas, as well as the waist. Having sexual contact with a person who has HSV-2 virus is the only way that an individual can get the infection and can spread even when the sores are absent. Pregnant women should consider talking to a medical practitioner because it is possible to pass the disease on to the baby during childbirth.

  1. Statistics

CDC statistics indicate that genital herpes due to HSV-2 is a global health issue. The prevalence of this disease is highest in Africa, followed by America. In Texas, herpes type 2 increases with ages, although recent studies show that it is more common among youths (CDC, 2019). Hence there is a need to discover appropriate measures to reduce the infection. More females get the infection compared to males because the transmission appears to be more efficient from men to women and not vice versa.

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  1. Signs and Symptoms

Often Genital herpes type 2 has no symptoms, or they may go unnoticed. However, a considerable number of individuals may experience flu-like symptoms, including chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, feeling achy, and feverish symptoms. Besides, blisters or open sores can occur around the genital and anal areas. Only a few people with this infection report a prior diagnosis.

  1. Side effects

A cure for genital herpes does not exist. However, clinicians can recommend the use of the antiviral drug to minimize the outbreak and remain symptoms free for longer. Besides, the drugs can decrease the severity as well as the duration of symptoms in case they flare-up. The therapy does not intend for cure but to make the living conditions easier. The most common side effects of this treatment and medicines include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. However, other people nay experience dizziness, muscle aches, headaches, and visual changes.

  1. Treatments

There exist two types of treatments for genital herpes type 2. These include episodic and suppressive. Episodic applies to individuals whose infection recur less than six times in a year. The health practitioners can prescribe a single day course of antiviral such as acyclovir, every time the symptoms appear (Groves, 2016). The suppressive one is for those people who encounter more than six recurrences of the infection in a year. Sometimes, doctors can recommend that the patients take an antiviral daily. However, the purpose is to prevent the severity of symptoms. Although suppressive treatment contributes significantly to reducing the spread of the virus, potential risks still exist.

  1. Follow-Up Care

Follow-up care activities include providing test results. doctors should try to inform patients who fail to attend the results of positive genital herpes test. Creating awareness of the infection will considerably decrease the onward transmission. Besides, they should record all the clinical progress, complications, and the perceived benefit of the used therapeutic measures. They should also enquire about any anxiety that the patients might have and organize for further appropriate counseling. Health providers should discuss long-term management options, especially to those individuals with frequent recurrences.

  1. Long-term Health Outcomes

Although it is not possible to eradicate the infection, it does not result in serious long-term problems among healthy individuals. In some cases, herpes can infect the cervix, but rarely will they increase the risk of cervical cancer. However, in many people, the condition can result in stigma, which poses a significant risk to mental health (Horn et al., 2015). However, clinicians advise their patients to consult or talk to them whenever they feel distressed. They can also request a referral to a counselor or a therapist.

  1. Possible Psychological Issues

Since there is no cure for herpes, receiving a positive diagnosis can lead to serious psychological problems. A person can experience a feeling of isolation, and they lose confidence in themselves. Another issue is guilt, where the patient continuously regrets their actions and wishes that the events could reverse. Such feelings can result in mental instability. The individual may depict anger issues and denial, which is harmful to psychological well-being. Hence, counseling is essential to them. Clinicians should provide appropriate medication and provide meaningful advice concerning the lifestyle measures that can help the patients manage their symptoms and reduce the outbreak incidences.

  1. Summary

Genital herpes resulting from HSV-2 is a global medical problem, especially in recent years. The infection results in the development of sores in different body parts. Sexual intercourse with an infected person is the only way to contract the disease. CDC statistics present this illness as a prevalent condition, especially among youths. The symptoms of genital herpes are not apparent, and sometimes they may go unnoticed. However, one can mistake the condition for flu becomes the symptoms are almost similar. Genital herpes has no cure. Therefore, the doctors prescribe some antiviruses to reduce the impact and occurrence of symptoms. there are two types of threatening, including episodic and suppressive depending on the frequency of the symptoms. Follow up care services are critical to helping patients manage their conditions and practice healthier lives. Herpes has no significant long-term health effects. However, individuals can develop serious psychological problems upon having a positive diagnosis. These include a feeling of isolation, guilt, anger issues, and denial, which is harmful to the mental welfare. Hence there is a need to provide regular counseling to such individuals to help them manage their conditions and lead healthy lives.

  1. Evidence-Based Action Plans

The first action plan is counseling. It is useful to identify carriers who can spread the viruses to their sexual partners. Advice the youths to abstain and avoid engaging in irresponsible sexual behaviors. Where the act is inevitable, they should consider using protective measures such as condoms. Young women are at a higher risk of experiencing physical and mental distress (Sauerbrei, 2016). Hence the therapeutic is essential to reduce the frequency of recurrent genital issues.

The second action plan is vaccination. Today vaccines are available to prevent the infection (Cohen, 2017). Prevention is better than treatment. Therefore, clinicians should provide them with effective prevention of both primary and recurrent illnesses.

The third measure is to create awareness. Health providers should consider raising awareness of the infection. The plan should aim at enlightening people concerning its transmission routes, possible consequences as well as the preventative measures (Korr et al., 2017. This educational intervention should target all people at risk of getting viruses, including the youths.

  1. Barriers

Although the proposed action plans can play a pivotal role in decreasing the incidences of genital herpes in society, several barriers exist. People may be reluctant to attend counseling sessions to perceiving themselves as low risks. Others may fear stigma or unsolicited disclosure. Some religious beliefs can hinder people from getting immunized. Individuals may be reluctant to go for vaccination because of the fear of the possible side effects. Besides, the distance to immunization services and forgetting the appointments are potential barriers. Creating awareness is an educational intervention. However, sometimes factors as language barriers, physical separation, and cultural diversity are significant hindrances of a successful action plan.


CDC. (2019, June 6). Products – Data Briefs – Number 304 – February 2018. Centers for disease control and prevention.

Cohen, J. I. (2017). Vaccination to reduce reactivation of herpes simplex virus 2. Journal of Infectious Diseases, jix006.

GROVES, M. J. (2016). Genital Herpes: A review. American Family Physician, 93(11), 928-934.

Horn, E. E., Turkheimer, E., & Strachan, E. (2015). Psychological distress, emotional stability, and emotion regulation moderate the dynamics of herpes simplex virus type 2 recurrence. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(2), 187-198.

Korr, G., Thamm, M., Czogiel, I., Poethko-Mueller, C., Bremer, V., & Jansen, K. (2017). Decreasing seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in Germany leaves many people susceptible to genital infection: time to raise awareness and enhance control. BMC Infectious Diseases, 17(1).

Sauerbrei, A. (2016). Optimal management of genital herpes: current perspectives. Infection and Drug Resistance, 129.

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