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Herpes infection in two young girls – is it indicative of child sexual abuse?

Authors:

N. D. N. A. Mendis ,

University of Colombo, LK
About N. D. N. A.
Faculty of Medicine
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Y. M. G. Illangarathne Banda

Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala, LK
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Abstract

Genital Herpes in a pre-pubertal child raises the suspicion of sexual abuse. Two 12-year-old girls presented with multiple painful blisters in the genital area. with a history of alleged sexual abuse.  The appearance was very suggestive of herpes infection. Investigations confirmed HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection in the two cases. Presence of herpes without any other positive sexual abuse indicators would make it challenging to prove child sexual abuse. It can also result from non-abusive hand to genital contact. Interpretation of the presence of genital Herpes should be made carefully as it could be challenged at the court of law.
How to Cite: Mendis, N.D.N.A. and Illangarathne Banda, Y.M.G., 2021. Herpes infection in two young girls – is it indicative of child sexual abuse?. Sri Lanka Journal of Medicine, 30(1), pp.159–162. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljm.v30i1.240
Published on 01 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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