Risks and Severity

The use of a condom is essential to protect yourself and your partners against STDs. If you have any concerns, you should have an STD screening test. In the event of an infection, follow the treatment correctly and inform your sexual partners.

Risks of complications from genital herpes during birth

The more severe the infection, the greater the risk of it affecting the foetus. This initial contact with the herpes virus can lead to an extremely severe case of herpes in the infant.

The risks include:

  • a generalised breakout
  • the emergence of intravascular coagulation (severe coagulation disorder in infants).

During birth, the infection can mean a caesarian section is required to avoid the baby becoming contaminated.

People who are at risk of developing complications

Complications can also arise in:

  • immunodepressed people (who have a weakened immune system)
  • children who present with immunodeficiency at birth (a reduction in the quality of the antibodies in the blood).
  • patients undergoing an immunosuppressant treatment (following an organ transplant, the patient is given drugs to diminish the rejection process)
  • people with cancer
  • people living with HIV or with AIDS

Since 2000, the network of clinicians has been collecting information on the high-risk behaviour of patients suffering from an STD including genital herpes.


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