May 17, 1976

Another View of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago

JAMA. 1976;235(20):2188-2189. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260460012004

To the Editor.—  Before we conclude that "The long smouldering suspicion that genital infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 [HSV-2]... carries with it an enhanced risk of cervical cancer... has now become a virtual certainty" (234:1101, 1975), we should examine the accrued evidence. There is more in the literature than the two sources cited by your reporter, much of which is far from secure when reviewed. Tabulated comparisons of collected seroepidemiologic studies have recently become fashionable, and although their purpose has been to provide persuasive reason for the belief that HSV-2 is the oncogenous agent (or one of the agents) as I predicted in 1962,1 they all have features in common that tend to emphasize the difficulty some of us have in accepting the neatness of the HSV-2-cervical cancer risk relationship espoused in the report.One such summary, presented by Nahmias et al,2 at a symposium in