What's New Since 2015 About Herpes


The special authority and Hospital Medicines List restriction were removed from 1 March 2016 (Pharmac). This is recommended first-line treatment.

Treatment of First Episode Genital Herpes

  • Oral valaciclovir 500mg bd for 7/7 or longer if new lesions appear during treatment or healing is incomplete.
  • Immunocompromised patients consider valaciclovir 1g bd for 7–10 days.
  • Alternative: oral aciclovir 400mg 3 times daily (8 hourly) for 7 days.

Treatment of Recurrent Genital Herpes

Episodic Treatment

  • Oral valaciclovir 500mg bd for 3/7.
  • Alternative: oral aciclovir 800mg 3 times daily for 2 days. 

Prescribe enough tablets for patients to be able to self-initiate treatment at the onset of symptoms.

Suppressive Therapy

Only recommended for people with HSV confirmed on testing. Given daily to prevent recurrences and reduce asymptomatic shedding. Suggest prescribing for 12 months, followed by a break of 3 months to see if recurrences are still frequent and/or bothersome.

  • Oral valaciclovir 500mg daily (increase to 500mg BD on an individual basis of clinical presentation and/or having breakthrough recurrences on 500mg daily).
  • Alternative: oral aciclovir 400mg twice daily.

Free Download Resources on Genital Herpes

You can also access our guides online. Most are able to be downloaded in pdf form:

 Guidelines for the Management of Genital Herpes in New Zealand (online only)

PDF-download.png Summary of Genital Herpes Guidelines
PDF-download.png Genital Herpes - The Facts 
PDF-download.png Genital Herpes – Myths Vs Facts
PDF-download.png Herpes and Relationships
PDF-download.png Herpes and Pregnancy 
PDF-download.png Facial Herpes 

New Zealand Health Professionals Only

If you would like to get a print copy of the information booklets, fill out the form on the health professionals' request for printed materials