Introduction: The changing epidemiology of genital herpes in Edinburgh is described in relation to herpes simplex virus (HSV) Type 1 and herpes simplex virus Type 2 infection over a period of 14 years.
Methods: 2018 episodes of genital herpes in 1794 patients over a 14 year period were assessed. Data on age, sex, sexual orientation, geographical origin and herpes antibodies were also analysed.
Results: The proportion of cases that were HSV Type 1 increased over the period from approximately 20% to over 40%. Type 1 infection is more common in the young, in women and as a primary infection.
Conclusions: HSV Type 1 is of increasing importance as a cause of genital herpes in our population. This may reflect changes in sexual attitudes and practises over the past decade.