Send to

Choose Destination
Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Feb;30(2):174-7.

Natural history of genital herpes simplex virus type 1 infection.

Author information

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.



Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has been increasingly reported as a cause of genital herpes, yet there have been few studies on the long-term natural history of this infection. GOAL The goal was to examine the clinical course of genital HSV-1 infection.


This was a cohort study of patients presenting with culture-proven primary genital HSV-1 infection.


The median follow-up of the 77 patients was 736 days. The overall rate of recurrences was 1.3/year in the first year of infection, decreasing to 0.7/year in the second year. In the first year of infection, 43% of study patients did not have a recurrence. In the second year of infection, 67% of study patients did not have a recurrence.


Genital HSV-1 recurs infrequently in most patients, and the rate decreases further in the subsequent years of infection. Because the prognoses of genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections differ, determination of the viral type is important for patient counseling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center