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Genital Herpes in Marital Partners
|How to cite this article:
Jacob M, Mathai R. Genital Herpes in Marital Partners. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1988;54:288-292
AbstractDuring 1983-86, 225 patients were clinically diagnosed to have genital herpes (GH) at our clinic. Of these, 90 men and 55 women were currently married. All the spouses were screened clinically and through standardized techniques for isolation and typing of herpes simplex virus, serological testing and Papanicolaou smear. There were 90 couples in whom at least one spouse had GH and in 38 (42%) couples both partners had GH. Clinically, 49% of wives and 75% of husbands of GH patients were diagnosed to have the disease. The spouses of recurrent GH patients had a higher frequency of the disease than spouses of primary GH patients. Among spouses who were clinically asymptomatic, 40% had high serological titres suggestive of GH. Wives generally experienced more severe symptoms, especially pain in the lesions. Majority of lesions in both the partners were vesicles and ulcers. Prodromata were more among recurrent GH patients in both the partners. The frequency of recurrences wasalso similar in spouses. Seventy percent of wives and 40% of husbands could not identify any precipitating factor. Intercourse, physical stress and rich food were cited as possible factors in the remaining. All the wives had acquired the diseases through their husbands who were promiscuous. Fifty percent of husbands had been infected before marriage. Given the fact that asymptomatic carriers exist, it is better to consider all marital partners of GH as infected. Repeated and long-term follow, - up examination, particularly of wives of GH patients is therefore essential as an important socio-preventive aspect of this disease.