In patients with a first outbreak, the symptoms can be very severe. Multiple painful, genital ulcers can cover large areas of skin on both sides of the groin. They can experience burning during urination, fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and swollen, painful lymph nodes in the groin.
With no therapy, the lesions will clear and heal without scarring (typically) in about 21 days. For such patients, treatment is vital and can shorten the outbreak and ease the symptoms significantly. For the treatment of an initial episode of herpes genitalis, the FDA recommends taking valacyclovir 1 gram (1000 mg) twice a day for 10 days starting at the first sign or symptom of lesions, preferably within 48 hours of onset. The “CDC recommends this same dose for 7 to 10 days; treatment may be extended if healing is not complete after 10 days.” For HIV-infected patients, they recommend 1 gram (1000 mg) every 12 hours for 5 to 14 days.
This information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.