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September 9, 1998

Long-term Suppression of Genital Herpes

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC.

JAMA. 1998;280(10):928-929. doi:10.1001/jama.280.10.928

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a member of the Herpesviridae family, a diverse group of double-stranded DNA, lipid-enveloped virions responsible for a wide variety of common human infections. Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 and the closely related varicella-zoster virus (VZV) make up the Alphaherpesvirinae virus subfamily. Infections caused by Alphaherpes virus are characterized by mucoepidermal and neural tropism and result in the typical clinical presentations of vesicular lesions and sensory nerve involvement and latency within dorsal root ganglia. Herpes simplex virus type 1 is most frequently associated with nongenital disease, while HSV type 2 is responsible for 90% of urogenital disease. Genital HSV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, with HSV type 2 seropositivity detected in approximately 1 of 5 persons 12 years of age or older.1