A new study suggests that the risk of transmitting the virus that causes most cases of genital herpes could be cut in half by more testing and informing sexual partners of infection. The study is published in the
Until recently, there was little evidence to show that knowledge of infection would lead to decreased transmission of herpes simplex virus (HSV) to others. But Anna Wald, MD, MPH, and colleagues at the
According to Wald, "These findings suggest that testing persons with HSV type-specific serologic assays and encouraging disclosure may result in decreased risk of HSV-2 transmission to sexual partners."
The importance of this finding is described by editorialists Edward Hook III, MD, of the
This most recent study also found that most people who transmitted HSV did not know that they had genital herpes. Wald, Hook, and Leone suggest that physicians should not only increase testing for HSV, but should also counsel their patients about transmitting the virus and disclosing their HSV status to sex partners.
Source: Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)