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August 2013

Knowledge Is PowerA Case for Wider Herpes Simplex Virus Serologic Testing

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, and Epidemiology, University of Washington, and Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(8):689-690. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.459

A recent headline in the Los Angeles Times proclaimed “US Panel Advises HIV Tests for Everyone Ages 15 to 64.”1 A few months prior, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that the generation born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C infection at least once. In contrast, testing for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is not only not recommended but actively discouraged.2 Why is there such a difference in the public health view of the importance of testing and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C vs HSV?

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