To investigate national trends in genital herpes infections, we analyzed data collected by the National Disease and Therapeutic Index survey from 1966 to 1984. The number of private physician-patient consultations for symptomatic genital herpes increased 15-fold during this period. The number of patient visits for newly diagnosed infections increased 8.8-fold. Women aged 20-24 years and men aged 25-29 years were more likely to consult a private physician for genital herpes than were patients in other age brackets. Our analysis suggests that the incidence of genital herpes infections among patients visiting private practitioners is increasing nationally. Additionally, to establish the magnitude and distribution of neonatal herpes infections, we initiated a nationwide pilot reporting system. The analysis, in progress, should provide clues to prevention of this devastating disease.