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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2001 Feb;47 Suppl T1:9-16.

The importance of diagnosing genital herpes.

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Institute of Dermatological Science, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Milano, Via Pace 9, 20122 Milan, Italy.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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