Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeClinical Trials and ResearchIs Routine Screening for Genital Herpes Infection Recommended?

Is Routine Screening for Genital Herpes Infection Recommended?

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends not screening asymptomatic adults for genital herpes infection, because the harms of screening outweigh the benefits.

 

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by 2 types of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), in most cases by HSV-2. It affects 1 in every 6 people in the USA in the age group of 14-49 years. Genital herpes does not have a long asymptomatic period before symptoms appear, and it has no cure after infection, only treatment of the outbreaks is available. HSV-2 is detected by serologic screening techniques, however, these methods have a low specificity and a high false positive rate. Furthermore, HSV-1 screening is not specific for the site of infection (genital or oral).

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published their recommendation statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the routine HSV screening of asymptomatic adults. In their statement, they noted that screening tests for HSV are not sensitive and specific enough, almost half of the positive results are false positive. Furthermore, there is no real benefit of early detection, as no cure is currently available and the active infection only poses a risk to pregnant women and their neonates during delivery. Also, research has shown that neonatal infection is most likely to occur at the initial infection of the mother, and when an outbreak is present at time of delivery. However, a positive test result may result in social and emotional harm and unnecessary treatment. Therefore, the USPSTF does not recommend routine HSV screening of asymptomatic adults. This recommendation is in accordance with recommendations of the American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both CDC and ACOG suggest a caesarean delivery in case of an active HSV infection, and the CDC suggests screening for HSV in the case of recurrent atypical symptoms and HIV infection or high risk for HIV. The CDC also suggests a suppressive therapy in infected pregnant women after 36 weeks of gestation.

The USPSTF does not recommend screening of asymptomatic adults for genital herpes, but they note that further research is needed to develop tests with higher sensitivity and specificity and to use behavioral intervention to reduce the risk of infection, especially in pregnant women.

 

Written By: Dr. Fanni R. Eros

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News and Articles

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS

Stay Connected
10,288FansLike
820FollowersFollow
249FollowersFollow
2,787FollowersFollow

Article of the month

Recognizing HIE: A Call for Advocacy

Have you heard of HIE? It’s the second leading cause of infant mortality and lifelong disability worldwide. 2-3 per 1,000 live births in high-income...

Joke Of The Day – May 21

Recently in the news,  it was announced that The New England Medical Journal reports:  9 out of 10 doctors agree that 1 out of...

RECENT COMMENTS

ADVERTISE WITH US

error: Content is read-only and copy-protected.