Genital herpes

Genital herpes
Other namesAnogenital herpesviral infection, herpes genitalis
An outbreak of genital herpes affecting the vulva
SpecialtyInfectious disease
SymptomsNone, small blisters that break open to form painful ulcers, flu-like symptoms[1][2]
ComplicationsAseptic meningitis, increased risk of HIV/AIDS if exposed, neonatal herpes[1]
Usual onset2–12 days after exposure[1]
DurationUp to 4 weeks (first outbreak)[1]
CausesHerpes simplex virus (HSV-1, HSV-2)[1]
Diagnostic methodTesting lesions, blood tests for antigen[1]
Differential diagnosisSyphilis, chancroid, molluscum contagiosum, hidradenitis suppurativa[3]
PreventionNot having sex, using condoms, only having sex with someone who is not infected[2]
TreatmentAntiviral medication[1]
Frequency846 million (2015)[4]

Genital herpes is an infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) of the genitals.[1] Most people either have no or mild symptoms and thus do not know they are infected.[1] When symptoms do occur, they typically include small blisters that break open to form painful ulcers.[1] Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, aching, or swollen lymph nodes, may also occur.[2] Onset is typically around 4 days after exposure with symptoms lasting up to 4 weeks.[1] Once infected further outbreaks may occur but are generally milder.[1]

The disease is typically spread by direct genital contact with the skin surface or secretions of someone who is infected.[1] This may occur during sex, including anal and oral sex.[1] Sores are not required for transmission to occur.[1] The risk of spread between a couple is about 7.5% over a year.[5] HSV is classified into two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2.[1] While historically HSV-2 was more common, genital HSV-1 has become more common in the developed world.[1][6] Diagnosis may occur by testing lesions using either PCR or viral culture or blood tests for specific antibodies.[1]

Efforts to prevent infection include not having sex, using condoms, and only having sex with someone who is not infected.[2] Once infected, there is no cure.[2] Antiviral medications may, however, prevent outbreaks or shorten outbreaks if they occur.[1] The long-term use of antivirals may also decrease the risk of further spread.[1]

In 2015 about 846 million people (12% of the world population) had genital herpes.[4] In the United States, more than one-in-six people have HSV-2.[7] Women are more commonly infected than men.[1] Rates of disease caused by HSV-2 have decreased in the United States between 1990 and 2010.[1] Complications may rarely include aseptic meningitis, an increased risk of HIV/AIDS if exposed to HIV-positive individuals, and spread to the baby during childbirth resulting in neonatal herpes.[1]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet". 9 February 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "STD Facts – Genital Herpes". 2017-12-11. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  3. ^ Ferri, Fred F. (2010). Ferri's Differential Diagnosis: A Practical Guide to the Differential Diagnosis of Symptoms, Signs, and Clinical Disorders. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 230. ISBN 978-0323076999.
  4. ^ a b GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence, Collaborators. (8 October 2016). "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015". Lancet. 388 (10053): 1545–1602. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31678-6. PMC 5055577. PMID 27733282.
  5. ^ pmhdev (December 12, 2012). "Genital herpes: How can you prevent the spread of herpes in sexual relationships?". PubMed Health.
  6. ^ Beigi, Richard H., ed. (2012-03-27). Sexually transmitted diseases. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. p. 139. ISBN 9781118314975.
  7. ^ "STD Facts - Genital Herpes". December 11, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2018. Genital herpes is common in the United States. More than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes.