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August 2013

Asymptomatic Sexually Active Adolescents and Young Adults Should Not Be Screened for Herpes Simplex Virus

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(8):691-692. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.462

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 are highly prevalent in the general population of the United States. The seroprevalence of HSV-2 and HSV-1 were 17% and 58%, respectively, in a cohort aged 14 to 49 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004.1 Seroprevalence is substantially less among adolescents and young adults. Approximately 80% of infected individuals are unaware of their infection and the majority of infections are transmitted by these individuals.2

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