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Genital Herpes: Epidemiology and Public Health Perspectives H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. Professor of Medicine University of Washington Director, STD Control.

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Presentation on theme: "Genital Herpes: Epidemiology and Public Health Perspectives H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. Professor of Medicine University of Washington Director, STD Control."— Presentation transcript:

1 Genital Herpes: Epidemiology and Public Health Perspectives H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. Professor of Medicine University of Washington Director, STD Control Program Public Health - Seattle & King county

2 Herpes Simplex Virus  Mucocutaneous infection, retrograde infection along sensory nerves, latent infection in cranial nerve or dorsal spinal ganglia, mucocutaneous recurrences  HSV-1 - Mostly orolabial (cold sores, fever blisters) % of initial genital herpes  HSV-2 - Almost entirely genital; oral infection rare - >90% of recurrent genital herpes

3 Genital Herpes: Initial Visits to Physician’s Offices, Year Visits x 1,000 STD Surveillance 2000: National Disease and Therapeutic Index

4 Estimated Annual Incidence of STDs in the United States HIV 40,000 Kaiser Family Foundation and American Social Health Association Total annual incidence 15 million HPV 5.5 million Trichomoniasis 5 million Chlamydia 3 million Gonorrhea 650,000 Hepatitis B 77,000 Syphilis 70,000 Genital herpes 1 million

5 Estimated Prevalences of Leading STDs Estimated Prevalences of Leading STDs HIV (560,000) Herpes (45-60 million) HPV (20 million) Chlamydia (3 million) Hepatitis B (750,000) Kaiser Family Foundation and American Social Health Association

6 HSV-2 Seroprevalence in Men and Women NHANES II and III

7 Prevalence of Genital HSV Infection in Adults in the United States  HSV-2, NHANES-II (1978)16%  HSV-2, NHANES-III (1991)22% 45 million  HSV-2 since million (?)  Total HSV million  Genital HSV-1 infection 10 million (??)  TOTAL 25-30% >60 million

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9 Percent Saying “Very Traumatic” Acquiring AIDS I’m going to read you a list of items that people may or may not consider traumatic. For each one I read, please tell me how traumatic it would be for you personally: very traumatic, somewhat traumatic, not very traumatic, or not traumatic at all. Having genital herpes Breaking up with a significant other Getting fired from a job Failing a course in school Perceived Trauma of Contracting Genital Herpes

10 National STD Hotline National STD Hotline Disease-Specific Calls, 1997 No. Calls Percent  Genital herpes 63,  HPV/warts 33,  Chlamydia 17,  Gonorrhea 11,300 8  Syphilis 8,753 7  Total 134,411

11 Clinical Spectrum of Genital Herpes  First episode infection –Primary infection (~20%) –Nonprimary first-episode infection (~40%) –First clinical episode of chronic infection (~40%)  Recurrent infection  Subclinical infection –Truly asymptomatic –Unrecognized

12 Recurrence Rate After Initial Genital Herpes  Mean recurrence rate in first year after initial genital HSV-2 infection (N = 457, median FU 391 days) - Men5.2 episodes/yr - Women4.0 episodes/yr  >6 recurrences in first year38%  >10 recurrences in first year20%  Rate gradually declines over several years  Recurrence rate much lower for genital HSV-1

13 Natural History of Genital HSV-1 Infection  83 pts (53 F, 30 M) with primary GH due to HSV-1  Followed >6 mo; median 2.7 yr  Recurrences in 1st year038% 135% >227%  Days to first recurrenceMedian 223 d; CI d  Mean recurrence rateMean rate/yr (range) Yr (0-8) Yr (0-5) Yr (0-4) Wald A et al, Abstract 442 IDSA 39 Oct 25-29, 2001

14 What Triggers Recurrent Outbreaks?  Oral HSV-1 –Other infections (“cold sore”, “fever blister”) –Actinic/ultraviolet injury –Other local trauma (e.g., surgery)  Genital HSV-2 –No clearly documented triggers –No good data support stress, diet, menstruation, sex, etc, despite anecdotal reports and strongly held beliefs to the contrary

15 Biomedical Complications of HSV-2 Genital Infection  Localized neuropathic manifestations  Meningitis (isolated, recurrent)  Erythema multiforme, Stevens Johnson syndrome  Perinatal and maternal morbidity - Neonatal herpes - Cesarean section  Nongenital autoinoculation syndromes (conjunctivitis, keratitis, whitlow)  Chronic localized disease in immunodeficient patients (especially HIV/AIDS)  Enhanced HIV transmission

16 Association of HSV-2 Antibody with HIV Seroconversion in 9 Prospective Cohort and Nested Case-control Studies Wald A, Link K. J Infect Dis January 2002

17 Probability of HIV Transmission in 174 Monogamous Couples: Rakai, Uganda Wawer M, Gray R, Quinn TC, et al Int’l Retrovirus Meeting 2001

18 Genital Herpes and HIV Transmission  Other things being equal, HSV-2 seropositive persons have twice the chance of acquiring HIV if sexually exposed  On a population basis, HSV-2 infection may be most important STD in the U.S. and worldwide in enhancing HIV transmission efficiency  Persons at high risk for HIV (MSM, IDU, and their sex partners) should routinely be offered HSV-2 serological testing and, if positive, counseled about the elevated HIV risk

19 Subclinical Viral Shedding in Genital Herpes  Present 1-10% (PCR %) of asymptomatic days in persons with RGH due to HSV-2  Max frequency (5-10% of days, PCR 20-30%) in first year, then declines; but probably 2-3% of days (PCR 4-6%) for many years  >95% of persons with HSV-2 have Asx shedding  Similar frequency in persons with and without Sx  Most episodes are symptomatic but unrecognized  Accounts for most transmission  Substantially reduced by suppressive antiviral therapy (frequency, viral titer)  Uncommon in genital HSV-1 infection

20 Psychosocial Impact of Genital Herpes  Every study of psychosocial impact and every survey of patients with genital herpes has found fear of transmission to sex partners to be among the top 3 (usually no. 1 or 2) sources of concern, anxiety and stress  Cited by 37% to 89% of patients - - Luby & Klinge (1985) - - Silver et al (1986) - - Catotti/ASHA (1991) - - Keller et al (1991) - - Carney et al (1993) - - Mindel et al (1993) - - Carney et al (1994) - - Mindel et al (1996) - - IHMF/IHA (2000) - - IHMF/IHA (2002)

21 Online Herpes Dating Service MPwH [Antopia’s “dating site”] is a social resource and dating site for people with herpes and HPV. Right now it’s May 13, 2003 and we have 36,092 registered members, and 163 are currently logged in. Join us now, and end the aloneness. Signing up is 100% free and there is no obligation. Your privacy and confidentiality are assured. Antopia.com

22 Placebo Valacyclovir 250 mg BID Valacyclovir 250 mg QD Valacyclovir 1000 mg QD Valacyclovir 500 mg QD Acyclovir 400 mg BID Mean change from baseline Mean Change From Baseline Recurrent Genital Herpes Quality of Life Score mo6 mo12 mo Treatment group Patel et al. Sex Transm Infect. 1999;75:398 Mean Change and 95% CI

23 Transmission of Genital Herpes Transmission of Genital Herpes Langenberg AGM, et al. NEJM 1999;341:  Chiron vaccine studies of HSV-2 seronegative persons - Monogamous partners of persons with HSV-2 (N = 531) - STD clinic patients with bacterial STD in past year or >4 partners in past year (N = 1,862) - Follow-up: 11 visits at 2 wk to 3 mo intervals x 18 mo - History, genital exam, HSV serology (Western blot), viral cultures of lesions - Repeated safer sex counseling  Outcome measures - Primary: HSV-2 seroconversion - Secondary: HSV-1 infection, clinical disease  Vaccine and placebo recipients combined  Acquisition rates similar in both studies, results combined

24 Transmission of Genital Herpes Transmission of Genital Herpes Langenberg AGM, et al. NEJM 1999;341: Infection TypePerson-Yr Asx SxTotal Total HSV-2 3, Men 2, Women HSV-1 pos 1, HSV-1 neg 1, Total HSV-1 1, Rate per 100 Person-Yr 155 incident HSV-2 infections: 57 (37%) Sx, 98 (63%) Asx 19 incident HSV-1 infections

25 Transmission of Genital Herpes Transmission of Genital Herpes Langenberg AGM, et al. NEJM 1999;341:   Clinical misdiagnosis was common (20%)   13% of incident symptomatic infections were atypical (e.g., urethritis, cystitis, cervicitis, meningitis)   15% of asx seroconverters subsequently developed clinically evident disease (likely an underestimate)   Half the HSV-1 infections were genital, half oral   Incident infection was associated with young age (<30 yr) in women, but not men   Incident infection was 2-3 times more common in nonwhites than whites   Prior HSV-1 ameliorated incident HSV-2 (more asx infection) but did not influence acquisition rate   Study design probably reduced infection rate

26 Other Factors in Genital Herpes Transmission  Condom use  Avoidance of sex when symptomatic  Shorter duration of infection  Shorter duration of relationship  Sexual practices (vaginal, anal, orogenital; interaction with virus type)  Circumcision status?  Pregnancy?  Immunodeficiency and/or HIV status?

27 Protection Against HSV-2 by Condoms Protection Against HSV-2 by Condoms Wald et al, JAMA 2001;  528 monogamous HSV-2-discordant couples HSV-2-neg men, 267 HSV-2-neg women - 18 mo. follow-up  Relative transmission risk (hazard ratio) among couples with >25%condom use vs <25% use - Male to female0.085 (CI ) - Female to male 2.02 (CI )

28 Protection Against HSV-2 by Condoms Protection Against HSV-2 by Condoms Wald et al, National STD Prevention Conference, San Diego, CA, 2002: Abstract LB1  1,852 HSV-2-seronegative heterosexual M & F - At risk for STD (>4 ptr or Hx of STD in past yr) - 18 mo. follow-up  Relative HSV-2 infection risk (hazard ratio) among persons with >65%condom use vs <65% use - Men0.58 (CI ) - Women 0.66 (CI )

29 Efficacy of Condoms in Preventing Genital Herpes: Summary Male Condom  Partially effective; previous controversy notwithstanding, probably about equally effective for M F and F M  Variable acceptability  Probably most important in first 6-12 mo Female Condom  Might be more effective (larger surface area covered) but no data available  Low acceptability

30 Abstinence During Symptoms to Prevent Sexual Transmission of HSV  Among HSV-2-discordant couples, transmission is less frequent in aware than in unaware couples  Requires awareness of infection and recognition of symptoms  Partially effective: Used successfully by many couples for several years –Studied primarily for overt recurrent herpes in ongoing partnerships –However, no data in serologically diagnosed persons counseled to recognize symptoms –Likely less effective in new relationships or when infection is recent

31 Counseling Patients with Newly Diagnosed Genital Herpes  Natural history of the disease –Potential for recurrences –Subclinical shedding  Availability and efficacy of suppressive therapy  Inform current and future sex partners  Availability of type-specific serological testing to diagnose partner and assess risk of acquisition  How to reduce transmission risk –Avoid sex when symptomatic –Condoms –Antiviral therapy?  Importance and avoidance of neonatal infection

32 Public Health Issues in Genital Herpes Public Health Issues in Genital Herpes The Six Biggies  Preventing sexual transmission of HSV  Relationship of HSV-2 infection to HIV transmission and its prevention  Underdiagnosis of genital ulcer disease  Underutilization of type-specific serological testing  Undertreatment - Poor understanding of psychosocial impact  Preventing neonatal herpes and maternal perinatal morbidity


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