Reliable tests for genital herpes are now widely available and treatments are more effective and more convenient to take than ever. This means there is every reason for anyone who thinks they may have been infected with genital herpes to seek medical advice. These are the key messages of International Herpes Week 2007, a regular awareness campaign run by the International Herpes Alliance (IHA), a charity dedicated to promoting information, education and support for people whose lives are affected by herpes.
The theme for this year’s International Herpes Week—July 29 through August 4th—is “Treatment and testing, better than ever.” The primary objectives of the event this year are to increase awareness and understanding of the range of effective treatments available to manage genital herpes and to reassure people that there have been further improvements in detecting the condition.
This year’s International Herpes Week campaign will involve the international distribution of leaflets, posters and press information. Several countries around the world will be participating in their own local events and activities with the aim of promoting important public health messages about herpes.
To learn more about testing as well as specifics about the types of tests available, please see ASHA’s Blood Test Quick Reference Guide, a chart that outlines and compares the accurate, FDA-approved type-specific blood tests available for herpes simplex antibodies. The guide can be downloaded from the ASHA website at http://www.ashastd.org/pdfs/blood_test.pdf. For healthcare providers, ASHA has developed the Herpes Testing Toolkit, a publication geared toward the medical professional and reviewed by leading experts in this field. This 10-page guide explains the increasing role of type-specific herpes serologic assays, presents clinical scenarios in which serologic testing are beneficial, and reviews key factors in a differential diagnosis for genital herpes. The Herpes Testing Toolkit is available for $2.95 through the ASHA Product Catalog.