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Clinical Reactivation of Genital Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Decreases in Frequency over Time

Jacqueline K. Benedetti, PhD; Judith Zeh, PhD; and Lawrence Corey, MD
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From the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank the patients and staff at the University of Washington Virology Research Clinic for their cooperation and help during the conduct of these studies; Michael Remington and Carol Winter; Stacy Selke for data management; and Dr. Anna Wald for thoughtful discussion.

Grant Support: In part by the National Institutes of Health (grants AI-30731 and AI-30619).

Requests for Reprints: Lawrence Corey, MD, 1100 Fairview Avenue North (D3-100), Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109-1024.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Benedetti: University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics, Box 357232, Seattle, WA 98195.

Dr. Zeh: University of Washington, Department of Statistics, Box 354322, Seattle, WA 98195.

Dr. Corey: 1100 Fairview Avenue North (D3-100), Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109-1024.

Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(1):14-20. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-131-1-199907060-00004
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Genital herpes continues to be epidemic throughout the world (17). A recent population-based survey in the United States showed a 31% increase in herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 seropositivity during the past decade (6). The seroprevalence of HSV-2 infection ranges from 30% to 50% in most sexually transmitted disease clinics and from 20% to 30% in most family practice, obstetric, and general medicine clinics (5, 79). The seroprevalence of genital HSV-1 infection is also being reported with increasing frequency (10).

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Mean annual recurrence rate in each year of follow-up among patients who presented with newly acquired herpes simplex virus type-2 infection. Top left.Top right.Bottom left.Bottom right.

Mean values for all 103 patients followed for more than 3 years. Mean values for 64 patients followed for more than 4 years. Mean values for 39 patients followed for more than 5 years. Mean values for 19 patients followed for more than 8 years.

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