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Genital Herpes Infections
(NF008)

Introduction


The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the cause of genital and oral herpes infections. HSV-2 attacks the genital area and is sexually transmitted. The risk of transmission is lower during latency, but some chance always exists that the virus is shedding and transmissible at anytime.

Recurrences of HSV-2 occur in most persons due to the renewed multiplication of the virus. This process can occur weeks, months, or years after the initial outbreak, but tends to be frequent within the first year. It is not fully understood what factors trigger a recurrence. Possibilities include sunlight, fever, local physical injury, menstruation, suppression of the immune system or emotional stress.

It is estimated that at least 45 million Americans are infected with HSV-2 and the rate of infection has been increasing in recent years.

Newborns whose mothers have HSV-2, particularly when she has active lesions in the birth canal at the time of delivery, are at risk for contracting herpes. While infection of the fetus or newborn is relatively uncommon, the complications can be serious and may include miscarriage, premature labor, retarded fetal growth, or transmission of the HSV infection to the infant while in the uterus or at the time of delivery.

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The Medifocus Guide on Genital Herpes provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:


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This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:


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