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There is no cure for herpes, but the infection can be managed. Antiviral medications taken during outbreaks can make them shorter and less severe.

Taking an antiviral medication every day (known as suppressive therapy) reduces the risk of giving herpes to someone else. It also can reduce the number of outbreaks. In some cases, suppressive therapy can prevent outbreaks for a long time.

See Genital Herpes to learn more.

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Published: October 2020

Last reviewed: October 2020

Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women's health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.