antenatal screening programme
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is an infection which causes blisters on the skin. It is caught through skin to skin contact. The infection is most common on the face, in the form of cold sores. It can also appear on the genital or anal areas- passed on through sexual contact. in these instances it is known as genital herpes.
UK NSC screening recommendation
Screening for genital herpes in pregnant women is not recommended. This is because it is not known:
- how many women in the UK are infected with HSV-1 and HSV-2
- how accurate screening tests are in pregnant women
- how effective treatments are to stop women passing on HSV to their baby
- how effective treatments are to stop pregnant women from catching the disease
Supporting documents from the 2018 review
Evidence summary Genital Herpes (2018)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.
UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses Genital Herpes (2018)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.
Date previous review completed: 2018
Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Genital Herpes
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- Faculty of Public Health
- Herpes Viruses Association
- Kit Tarka Foundation
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh