Sample Email about CDC Herpes Testing Guidelines
I’m writing today to ask you to strongly consider a thorough review of the recommendations against HSV testing in standard STI panel. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-2) is the largest STI globally with no cure. Current CDC guidelines are irresponsible and contribute to asymptomatic spread of herpes in the US. The have created a broken prevention system which fails to protect us – and I ask you to reconsider them.
The rationale of inaccurate tests, risk of false positive, psychological burden of false positive, etc. are not sufficient and are indicative of bias.
Because the tests aren’t accurate is not a reason not to test. Simply implement two step testing and follow up with a more accurate test (western blot) to confirm. Also, make more accurate tests!
You are I’m sure aware that most transmission is from asymptomatic individuals who are unaware of their status. Can you imagine the decline in new cases that would occur if all people knew they were hsv+? This sense of apathy to asymptomatic spread is troubling.
False positives from serology tests is also given as rationale for not screening for HSV. Why is the temporary suffering of one individual with a false positive more important than the permanent suffering of another who permanently contracts hsv? Why are we preventing what would be a temporary and minor stressor versus prevention of traumatic and permanent anguish from a real diagnosis? You are preserving the few at the expense of the many.
These guidelines are truly harmful and are clearly contributing to spread. Again, please consider a thorough review to better protect the public. I believe these guidelines contribute to asymptomatic spread and part of the reason HSV is so highly prevalent.