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admin 24.05.2015

In the United States alone, genital herpes simplex virus 2 infections are reaching epidemic proportions. Genital herpes while considered to be a rather benign infection does have severe complications. The most reliable herpes diagnosis for most patients is an antibody test that is specific and sensitive for Herpes Simplex Virus 2 antibodies in serum.
The recent herpes data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that as many as 21.9% of the population between 12 and 74 years of age are infected with herpes simplex virus 2. However, a major contributor to the rise of Herpes Simplex Virus 2 is the fact that most Herpes Simplex Virus 2 seropositive persons are unaware that they are infected with the herpes simplex virus 2. Only about 20% of those infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 have symptoms that are recognized as genital herpes.
Genital herpes is a chronic infection that will affect the person emotionally, physically, and sexually for the rest of their life. These tests are new and are major improvements over older assays which did not distinguish between past Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and past Herpes Simplex Virus 2. Although, new diagnostic tests are now available that could definitively identify those with Herpes Simplex Virus 2.


Often these patients are misdiagnosed with another infection, thus, treated inappropriately.
Persons with past Herpes Simplex Virus 2 infections make antibodies to the Herpes Simplex Virus 2.
The prevalence of genital herpes is higher among persons who attend sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinics and in many obstetrical practices. Much of this lack of recognition is due to the unfamiliarity with the signs and symptoms of herpes which are often mild and are easily confused with other conditions. These new assays can distinguish between antibodies to Herpes Simplex Virus 2 from Herpes Simplex Virus 1. However, once taught about the symptoms of the herpes disease, the majority of people infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 2 will return to the clinic within one year with a clinically symptomatic recurrence of genital herpes.
If a pregnant woman becomes infected, especially during the third trimester, she is at increased risk of transmitting the herpes disease to her newborn. At this time the clinician must rely on a history and ask the patient to return when there are lesions. The United States is not the only country that has seen a marked increase in genital herpes in the last twenty years.


In other words, with a little instruction, persons who have Herpes Simplex Virus 2 can be taught to recognize a recurrence of genital herpes. Genital herpes infections have also been associated with the increased risk of acquisition of HIV. However, viral shedding only lasts a few days and often the lesion has crusted or disappeared by the time the patients sees the clinician.
This test is a type-specific Herpes Simplex Virus 2 serologic test that can give results within 15 minutes of pricking the patient’s finger.
Lastly, Herpes Simplex Virus infection can allow HIV replication in cells previously immune to HIV. A new test which measures Herpes Simplex Virus DNA in a swab called a PCR assay may be more sensitive for detecting Herpes Simplex Virus in a lesion than a viral culture. These complications emphasize the importance of letting a person know whether or not they are infected.



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