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April 1985

Recurrent Genital Herpes Simplex Infection: A Trivial Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, UCLA School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(4):513-517. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660040097019

Genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection can be viewed, in the main, as a trivial disorder causing patients minor physical discomfort and some alteration in the pattern of their normal sexual activity. Notwithstanding the fact that genital HSV may have oncogenic properties and may be life-threatening to a fetus at term or to the immune suppressed, the simple clinical fact remains that the disease is a benign, self-limiting infection for most healthy individuals. This, of course, is not how most patients actually view the affliction. Recurrent infection with genital HSV presents, instead, a number of special psychosocial problems to patients and therapeutic dilemmas to physicians that defy conventional approaches appropriate to other sexually transmitted diseases. Included in a list of issues considered peculiar, if not unique, to recurrent genital HSV infection are the following: (1) the failure of most

For editorial comment see p 467. conventional medical treatments to influence

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