The epidemiology of herpes simplex types 1 and 2 infection of the genital tract in Edinburgh 1978-1991

Genitourin Med. 1993 Oct;69(5):381-3. doi: 10.1136/sti.69.5.381.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior