In spite of significant progress made in the management of many sexually transmitted infections, genital herpes continues to pose a public health concern for sexually active Canadians.
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Sherri Dmyterko: It is estimated that up to one in five Canadian who is currently infected with Genital Herpes and approximately 80% are unaware of they are infected which means they cannot take preventative measures to stop this spread. They raise positive news however through responsible condom use and anti-viral therapy people with Genital Herpes may be supported toward a healthy and satisfying sex life without spreading the virus. To assist physicians in working with patients the Public Health Agency of Canada has released new treatment guidelines. Dr. Barbara Romanowski is a clinical professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Alberta. Barbara Romanowski: The new Genital Herpes guidelines are important for physicians because that will provide them with new information on diagnosing and treating this infection. It will allow them to open communication with patients to treat the infection and ultimately to reduce further spread of Genital Herpes. The guidelines will also allow physicians to discuss with patients the latest information on new treatment that can decrease the risk of the individual passing this infection on to someone else. Sherri Dmyterko: Jerry was diagnosed with Genital Herpes 21 years ago. Jerry: When I was first diagnosed with Genital Herpes I didn't think I would be able to have the meaningful relationship again. Then I realize that there are ways to deal with it. I also realized that it was my responsibility to ensure that I didn't pass it on to a partner. If you have Genital Herpes talk to your doctor and find out about ways to better manage and prevent infection. You can make a difference. Sherri Dmyterko: Genital Herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. A highly contagious and incurable virus. In addition to painful lesions and open sores the infection can lead to depression and the increased risk for HIV infection and serious clinical complications to a fetus or new born. Barbara Romanowski: Patients need to know that this disease is controllable. That there are effective medications available and that the risk of transmitting infection to their sexual partner can be minimized with appropriate treatment. Sherri Dmyterko: Talk to your doctor to find out more about the new treatment guidelines or for more information about Genital Herpes visit www.herpeshelp.com. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.
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