Antiviral management options for recurrent herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection include daily suppressive and episodic therapy. New data on patient-initiated, short-course, high-dose antiviral therapy provide a new, more convenient option for patients who choose episodic therapy. A head-to-head comparison of suppressive valaciclovir versus famciclovir treatment indicates that both drugs have comparable clinical benefits, but that valaciclovir may have a greater impact on virological end-points. However, a more recent study shows that famciclovir effectively reduces the frequency of total and subclinical HSV shedding compared with placebo, as well as the percentage of days with genital lesions for subjects with or without a history of genital herpes. This article reports on presentations given at the IHMF Annual Meeting and International Congress of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, both of which took place in late 2006.