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Types of Genital HSV Infections
In a primary infection, the patient has an initial exposure to HSV and no type-specific antibodies to either HSV-1 or HSV-2 exist at the time of the infection. Lesions may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and, without antiviral therapy, may persist for an average of 20 days. Lesions begin as tender vesicles that may rupture and ulcerate. Additional symptoms associated with primary infections may include intense pain, dysuria, itching, lymphadenopathy, fever, headache, nausea, malaise, and myalgia. Women may have vaginal discharge. Approximately 75% of patients with primary genital HSV infection are asymptomatic. Viral shedding lasts an average of 12 days and ceases before complete resolution of lesions, if present. Antibody response occurs 2 to 12 weeks after the infection and is lifelong. Unlike protective antibodies to other viruses, antibodies to HSV do not prevent local recurrences.
Genital Herpes Simplex Updates
HSV is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United Arab Emirates. The most accurate estimates derived from seroprevalence surveys show that 1 person in 5, aged 12 years and older in the UAE, has been infected with HSV-2, and the rate is even higher among adults and women.1 These estimates do not include the contribution of sexually acquired HSV-1 to the epidemic of genital herpes. An estimated 1.6 million new HSV-2 infections occur in the UAE annually.