Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Friday, October 25, 2013

More teens susceptible to genital herpes

A recent study has suggested that a growing number of adolescents in the U.S. lack the necessary antibodies that will protect them against genital herpes. Findings show that fewer teenagers have been exposed to HSV-I, a common cause of cold sores, which may make them more susceptible to HSV-II when they become sexually active.
Traditionally, HSV-I has not been connected to genital herpes, but research is beginning to show that it is becoming a significant cause of the STI – with one study finding nearly 60% of genital herpes were attributable to HSV-I.
Changes in sexual practices could make the problem worse: An unintended consequence of the success of public campaigns to limit the spread of HIV has led some to embrace the notion that oral sex is "safe," Dr. Kimberlin wrote, despite the fact that oral sex also carries risks, including significant risk of transmission of HSV-1 from the mouth to the genitals. Another serious potential consequence of increased susceptibility to genital herpes caused by HSV-1 is the risk of genital transmission of the virus from mother to baby during delivery, Dr. Kimberlin wrote. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can pose significant problems for newborn infants, who lack a mature immune system capable of fighting these viruses. Up to 30 percent of infected babies will die from this infection if they have the most severe form of the disease.

Read more:
More US teens susceptible to HSV-1 infection, a cause of genital herpes

Source: Science daily
Image credits:Genital Herpes Research

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