The importance of diagnosing genital herpes

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Genital herpes is the result of infection by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and, to a lesser extent, HSV-1. Recent years have seen a rise in the prevalence of genital HSV infection in both industrialized and developing countries. The main factors attributed to the spread of HSV infection include asymptomatic virus shedding, and under-recognition and under-diagnosis of the disease. At the level of the individual patient, genital herpes is associated with significant psychosocial morbidity and complications such as neonatal herpes, the result of transmission of HSV from mother to baby. HSV-2 infection is also implicated in the transmission and acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As genital HSV infection has substantial public health implications, increased awareness of the disease and its prevalence, together with better use of diagnostic tests, may be one step towards more effective management and infection control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue numberTOPIC T1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology


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