Herpes, Genital is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Medicine Central™ is a quick-consult mobile and web resource that includes diagnosis, treatment, medications, and follow-up information on over 700 diseases and disorders, providing fast answers—anytime, anywhere. Explore these free sample topics:

Medicine Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --

Basics

Description

  • Chronic, recurrent herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or 2 infection of any area innervated by the sacral ganglia
  • HSV-1 causes anogenital and orolabial lesions.
  • HSV-2 causes anogenital lesions.
  • Primary episode: occurs in the absence of preexisting antibodies to HSV-1 or HSV-2 (may be asymptomatic)
  • First episode nonprimary: initial genital eruption; preexisting antibodies are present.
  • Reactivation: recurrent episodes
  • Synonym(s): herpes genitalis

Epidemiology

  • Most commonly infected from age 15 to 30 years; prevalence increases with age due to cumulative likelihood of exposure.
  • Predominant sex: female > male
  • Predominant race: non-Hispanic blacks

Incidence
>700,000 new cases per year in the United States

Prevalence
  • Overall prevalence of HSV-2 is 10–40% in the general population and up to 60–95% in the HIV-positive population (1).
  • Up to 90% of seropositive persons lack formal diagnosis.
  • >50 million are infected with HSV-2 in the United States.

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • HSV is a double-stranded DNA virus of the Herpetoviridae family (1).
  • Spread via genital-to-genital contact, oral-to-genital contact, and via maternal–fetal transmission (2)
  • Incubation is 4 to 7 days after exposure.
  • Risk of transmission highest when lesions are present
  • Viral shedding is possible in the absence of lesions, increasing the risk of transmission since precautions may not be followed (abstinence, condom use). Viral shedding occurs intermittently and unpredictably.
  • HSV infection increases the risk for HIV.

Risk Factors

  • Risk increases with age, number of lifetime partners, history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), history of HIV, sexual encounters before the age of 17 years, and partner with HSV-1 or HSV-2.
  • Infection with HSV-1 increases the risk of being infected with HSV-2 by 3-fold.
  • Immunosuppression, fever, stress, and trauma increases risk of reactivation.

Commonly Associated Conditions

Syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other STIs

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --

Citation

* When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Herpes, Genital ID - 116276 ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Stephens,Mark B, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116276/all/Herpes__Genital PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -