Incidence of herpes simplex virus type-1 and type-2 from patients with primary (first-attack) genital herpes in Sheffield

Int J STD AIDS. 1990 May;1(3):184-6. doi: 10.1177/095646249000100306.


In a study to determine the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type isolated from patients with primary (first-attack) genital herpes and to identify any clinical or epidemiological features that might influence the reported incidence of any particular viral type, there was almost an equal incidence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 isolated from women (48% versus 52%). In the case of women, the initial clinical diagnosis was correct in 97% with HSV-1 and 95% with HSV-2 infection. Amongst men, HSV-2 was isolated more frequently than HSV-1 (71% versus 29%). However, the initial clinical diagnosis in men was correct in only 53% with HSV-1 and 83% with HSV-2 infection. These results suggest that in primary genital herpes the incidence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 is probably equal, while in men the reported incidence of HSV-1 may be affected by underdiagnosis giving a falsely high incidence of HSV-2 infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / epidemiology*
  • Herpes Simplex / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Simplexvirus / classification*
  • United Kingdom