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CMAJ - January 26, 1999JAMC - le 26 janvier 1999

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CMAJ 1999;160:174

© 1999 Canadian Medical Association

Remember when people in single bars used to wear T-shirts that said "I don't have herpes"? Not so long ago, before the advent of AIDS, herpes was the most dreaded STD. Recently it has taken a bit of a back seat to its potentially fatal counterparts, but genital herpes is still around and is still making a lot of lives miserable. If you have patients with HSV-2, consider directing them to this Web site (http://www.cafeherpe.com). Café Herpé takes a relaxed, almost humorous approach to the disease. Visitors start off in the Reading Lounge, where they can learn the basics about herpes and its pattern of presentation. Included is advice on how to inform your partner and prevent further infection. Next, visitors can go to the Buffet to gather more in-depth information on virology and the herpes family of viruses; this section features close-up photos of the disease in all its stages. And there's even a game, Virus Trap, in which contestants must correctly answer 16 multiple-choice questions on herpes. The Espresso Bar also has product information on famciclovir, which is not a surprise since the site is sponsored by SmithKline Beecham. Finally, on the Terrace, readers can find a list of links to third-party Web sites and support groups. If herpes can't be cured, at least the symptoms can be controlled. And until a definitive remedy is found, I'm hanging on to that T-shirt. — Dr. Robert Patterson, robpatterson@email.msn.com

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