Health Awarelets: Herpes Simplex Virus

Asymptomatic Genital Shedding of Herpes Simplex Virus

A prospective study of 53 asymptomatic patients, using daily culturing and detailed symptom diaries, indicated that a majority of these patients (62%) had experienced symptoms of genital HSV infection, but had not recognized them.

Comment: These findings would seem to indicate that some risk does exist for infecting sexual partners, even if the HSV carrier is asymptomatic, and should serve as a wake up call to at least consider extensive testing.

Wald, A, et al. Reactivation of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in asymtomatic seropositve people. New England Journal of Medicine, March 23, 2000. Volume 342, pages 844-50. (Cited in Journal Watch - Infectious Diseases, Volume 3, Number 5.)

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