Chapter 12 – Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs)

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is the most common cause of genital ulceration seen in Australia. Genital disease can be caused by herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). The HSV-2 virus is traditionally associated with genital lesions and HSV-1 with oral lesions, but the proportion of genital lesions now caused by HSV-1 appears to be increasing and is said to cause 50 per cent of genital lesions in Australia.(38) Serology demonstrates that 12 per cent of Australian adults are infected with HSV-2 and 76 per cent with HSV-1;18 however most of these will be asymptomatic.(38) Once infected with HSV, the virus achieves latency in the nerve roots and is usually a lifelong infection.

Full details of the clinical presentation of Genital herpes (when symptomatic) as well as testing and treatment recommendations can be found in Australian STI management guidelines, see section on herpes.

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History

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Examination

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Investigations

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Management

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Contact tracing

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