NOV 12, 2015 07:30 AM PST

Keynote: Reconceptualizing Genital Herpes Diagnosis and Management

  • Professor of Medicine/Epidemiology/Microbiology, Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
      Dr. Hook is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Director of the STD Control Program for the Jefferson County (Alabama) Department of Health. Dr. Hook's laboratory has emphasized diagnostic testing for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis and syphilis, providing a platform for a wide variety of studies. His laboratory is one of 5 CDC-funded reference laboratories for the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project which has monitored trends in gonococcal epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance in the U.S. since 1988. In addition, data generated by his laboratories have reflected collaboration with other faculty of the Infectious Diseases Division and other Departments within the School of Medicine (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics and Microbiology) and other UAB Schools (Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences).

      Dr. Hook's recent work has included: studies of health behavior and behavioral interventions for STD/HIV risk reduction; assessment of STD epidemiology; clinical trials of new therapeutic agents; and clinical evaluation of new diagnostic tests for diagnosis of gonorrhea, chlamydial infection and syphilis. Major ongoing research efforts include his role as PI on a randomized trial evaluation of non-invasive screening for gonococcal and chlamydial infections in adolescents seeking care at hospital emergency rooms and as Protocol Chair for a randomized trial evaluation of azithromycin for treatment of syphilis.


    As one of the nation's most prevalent sexually transmitted infections, genital herpes represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to clinicians, laboratorians and the patients they serve.  Over the past 25 years there has been increasing appreciation that the infection is widespread, impacting over 45 million Americans, and is misunderstood in terms of how the infection is transmitted from person to person, in terms of optimal diagnostic strategies, and in terms of the goals of management for infected persons.  Nucleic acid amplification tests now offer more sensitive methods for virologic testing for the virus and proper use of type-specific serological tests can be helpful in detecting infection an guiding therapeutic decision making.  This presentation will provide an overview of current genital herpes management, emphasizing the role of laboratory testing to improve diagnosis and guide therapy to control clinical manifestations of infection and reduce risk for transmission to others.

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