Persons who have tested positive for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) but do not have symptoms or genital lesions still experience virus shedding during subclinical (without clinical manifestations) episodes, suggesting a high risk of transmission from persons with unrecognized HSV-2 infection, according to a study in the April 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on infectious disease and immunology.
Anna Wald, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, presented the findings of the study at a JAMA media briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Herpes simplex virus type 2 is one of the most frequent sexually transmitted infections worldwide, with global estimates of 536 million infected persons and an annual incidence of 23.6 million cases among persons aged 15 to 49 years. In the United States, 16 percent of adults are HSV-2 seropositive, but only 10 percent to 25 percent of persons with HSV-2 infection have recognized genital herpes. Moreover, most HSV-2 infections are acquired from persons without a clinical history of genital herpes, according to background information in the article. Thus, the risk of sexual transmission does not correlate with the recognition of clinical signs and symptoms of HSV-2 but most likely correlates with the activity of the virus on the genital skin or mucosa (viral shedding).
Dr. Wald and colleagues compared the rates and patterns of genital HSV shedding in 498 immunocompetent HSV-2-seropositive persons bet.
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A study of patients attending sexual health clinics in Gothenburg found that just four out of ten patients with genital herpes actually knew that they had the disorder. However, a third of those who did not realise that they had been infected reported typical symptoms at a follow-up visit, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
In her thesis Matilda Berntsson, a specialist in skin and sexually transmitted infections at the Frölunda Specialist Hospital's skin clinic and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy, investigated the prevalence of genital herpes type 2 among patients attending sexual health clinics in Gothenburg. Her investigation included more than 1,000 patients, both male and female.
Genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 infects the genital membranes before moving to the nerve gangli.
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