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Clin Perinatol. 2005 Sep;32(3):657-70.

Herpes simplex virus in pregnancy: new concepts in prevention and management.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of the Army, Womack Army Medical Center, 2817 Reilly Road MCXC, Fort Bragg, NC 28310-730, USA.


Genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is one of the most common viral sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. It is estimated that 45 million adolescents and adults are infected with genital HSV. Most genital herpes infections in the United States are caused by HSV type 2 (HSV-2), and 25% to 30% of women of reproductive age have HSV-2 antibodies. What is more striking is that genital herpes is frequently under-recognized, and that only 5% to 10% of these women have a history of genital herpes. Because such a small percentage of women are aware of being infected with HSV, the risk of maternal transmission of this virus to the fetus or newborn is a significant health issue.

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