The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against routine screening for genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) among asymptomatic adults and adolescents. This recommendation forms the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the Feb. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Gary N. Asher, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a literature review to update the 2016 USPSTF recommendation against routine screening for genital herpes infection in asymptomatic adolescents and adults. A total of 3,119 abstracts and 64 full-text articles were reviewed. The researchers found no new eligible studies for any of the seven key questions. One new diagnostic accuracy study was identified; however, this study was excluded due to poor quality.
Based on these findings, the USPSTF reaffirms the conclusion that the harms outweigh the benefits for population-based screening for genital HSV infection in asymptomatic adolescents and adults, including pregnant persons. For asymptomatic individuals, the USPSTF recommends against routine serologic screening for genital HSV infection (D recommendation).
“The task force found that screening for genital herpes in people without signs and symptoms does not improve their overall health,” task force member James Stevermer, M.D., said in a statement. “This is due in large part to the fact that the tests used to screen for genital herpes have limitations and a significant chance that the results will say a person has the infection when they do not.”
Final Recommendation Statement
Journal of the American Medical Association
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