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Herpes protection for partners.

A widely used herpes treatment may do a lot more than just ease the painful itching and burning symptoms of the incurable sexually transmitted disease--it also might help those with the disease to protect their partners from infection. The Food and Drug Administration in August approved Valtrex (valacyciovir) for use in helping to stop the spread of the virus to sexual partners. The FDA decision was prompted by a study showing that people with herpes who took the drug cut in half their risk of infecting others through sexual contact.

Valtrex also may help herpes sufferers reduce their own chances of becoming infected with HIV and human papillomavirus by preventing the open lesions through which viruses can easily enter the body. "But that doesn't reduce the need for condom use," warns Ken Haller, MD, president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. "It's just one extra thing that can make life for people with genital herpes a little bit easier."
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Title Annotation:Prevention
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 14, 2003
Words:160
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