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The best view yet from the medical side: what herpes is, who's affected, how medical people can help. Langston (Harvard Medical School and other affiliations) puts her information across in authoritative, non-judgmental fashion and without technical jargon. Herpes, she notes at the outset, is not restricted to one area of the body or one segment of the population; but, in each case, a particular area or segment is more affected than others. Then she looks specifically at genital infections--probably the most distressing form of the disease (if not the most serious) and prospectively the most widespread. On the psychological aspects, she describes how the sufferer may feel, how the treating physician may react, and possible kinds of therapy--from analysts to self-help groups. Langston's greatest strength, however, is her hard-to-find information on the various herpes infections--of the eyes, mouth, brain, digestive tract; in the gay population, athletes, the newborn--and treatment of each. (Also: the postulated cancer connection.) While comfort measures receive short shrift, Langston is clear and detailed on the new anti-viral medications: what infections they do and do not work for. Oscar Gillespie's recent Herpes: What To Do When You Have It (p. 775) is excellent for sympathetic understanding and practical advice; this provides a worthwhile accompaniment strictly on the medical angle.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1982
Publisher: Doubleday