Availability of serologic and virologic testing for herpes simplex virus in the largest sexually transmitted disease clinics in the United States

Terri Warren, Lisa Gilbert, Hayley Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) in the United States is estimated to be 57.7% for HSV 1 and 17.0% for HSV 2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that both virologic and serologic tests be available at clinics that examined clients at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Methods: A telephone survey was conducted. Providers at the 230 largest sexually transmitted disease clinics in the United States were surveyed regarding the availability of HSV virologic and serologic testing at their clinics. Results: Of the 230 clinics, 37% (87) had neither serological nor virologic testing available, 36% (87) had only virologic, 23% (50) had both serologic and virologic, and 4% (8) had only serologic testing. States in the western and northern regions were significantly more likely to offer any type of HSV testing than the southern and Midwestern states (P < 0.05). The ability and techniques used to diagnose HSV varied widely by site and ranged from diagnosing by clinical examinations only to offer serological testing for all patients. Conclusions: Almost three-quarters of the clinics did not comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Further efforts are needed to implement national guidelines for HSV testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-269
Number of pages3
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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