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Sexually Transmitted Diseases  >  Publications  >  Report of the Genital Herpes Prevention Consultants Meeting May 5-6, 1998

Report of the Genital Herpes Prevention Consultants Meeting May 5-6, 1998

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August 20, 1998 - The Division of STD Prevention has initiated a systematic assessment of the need and feasibility of prevention programs for the viral STDs other than HIV, notably genital herpes and human papillomavirus infection. Enclosed is the report of an external consultants meeting on prevention of genital herpes that was held May 5-6, 1998. The document presents the recommendations of the meeting participants to CDC, not the policy or recommendations of the Division of STD Prevention, or the Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, or CDC.

There were a few recommendations for specific prevention activities that CDC was encouraged to implement as soon as practical. These include:

  • A campaign to better educate health care providers and the public about genital herpes and its prevention.
  • Recommend to health care providers and public health agencies that any serological testing for herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection should employ type-specific assays.
  • Promote standards of care that type-specific HSV serological tests should be available to providers and clinics that manage patients with genital herpes or at risk, and that patients should be informed if routine STD evaluation does not include laboratory assessment for HSV.
  • Develop guidelines to prevent herpes-related cesarean sections.

Some consultants advised that CDC recommend that all HIV-infected persons be evaluated for genital herpes, including type-specific serology, but others disagreed.

The main recommendations were for demonstration projects, behavioral and operational research, and other program development activities to inform future strategies to prevent sexual transmission of HSV, neonatal herpes, and herpes-related HIV transmission. Selected topics for these activities include:

  • The "real world" performance of the newer type-specific HSV serological tests.
  • The psychological and behavioral impact of HSV serological testing on asymptomatic persons.
  • Partner management strategies and related behavioral issues.
  • The use-effectiveness of antiviral therapy to prevent sexual transmission of HSV.
  • Sentinel surveillance for genital and neonatal herpes.
  • Strategies to prevent neonatal herpes, including the roles of serological screening, partner management, and antiviral therapy.
  • Mathematical modeling of HSV transmission and trends.
  • The indirect and intangible costs of genital herpes.
  • The effect of antiherpetic chemotherapy on HIV viral load and efficacy in preventing transmission of HIV.

It is not clear that prevention of genital herpes or HPV infection should unfold on a scale or in the style of our prevention programs for the bacterial STDs or HIV/AIDS. Rather, this report and the activities that will stem from it are merely the first steps in a process that will evolve over several years as we critically assess various prevention strategies.

Page last modified: September 18, 1998
Page last reviewed: September 18, 1998 Historical Document

Content Source: Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention