Genital shedding of herpes simplex virus among men

J Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;186 Suppl 1:S34-9. doi: 10.1086/342969.

Abstract

Epidemiologic studies suggest that most sexual transmission of genital herpes occurs when persons shed virus but lack lesions. This study assessed 79 men (63 with a history of genital herpes simplex virus [HSV] type 2 infection, 5 with a history of genital HSV-1 infection, and 11 with HSV-2 antibodies but no history of genital herpes) and obtained daily swabs for viral culture. HSV was isolated at least once from 60 (81%) HSV-2-seropositive men. The total viral shedding rate in HSV-2-seropositive men was 5%; the subclinical shedding rate was 2.2%. Of 11 HSV-2-seropositive men without a genital herpes history, 7 recognized typical recurrences and HSV was detected in 10. The shedding rate among men with genital HSV-2 was significantly higher than among men with genital HSV-1 infection (odds ratio, 4.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-15.3). The frequency of viral shedding in men with genital herpes appears comparable with that in women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Genitalia, Male / virology*
  • Herpes Genitalis / blood
  • Herpes Genitalis / diagnosis
  • Herpes Genitalis / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Virus Shedding

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral