Can primary genital herpes be caused by both herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2)?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Primary genital herpes can be caused by both HSV-1 and HSV-2 and can be asymptomatic. HSV-2 tends to have tropism for genital mucosa and has been traditionally more associated with genital infections. However, HSV-1 is increasingly associated with genital infection and has been reported to cause more genital infections than HSV-2, especially in young people and homosexual males. [8, 9] The clinical features and course of primary genital herpes caused by both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are indistinguishable, but recurrences are more common with HSV-2.

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