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The Herpes Simplex Virus, also known as HSV, is a viral infection that causes herpes. Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, most commonly on the genitals or mouth. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus.

  • HSV-1: Also known as oral herpes, this type can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face.
  •  HSV-2: This type is generally responsible for genital herpes outbreaks.

Neonatal herpes can occur when an infant is exposed to HSV during delivery. The current estimated rate of occurrence is approximately 1 in 3,200 deliveries. The risk for neonatal herpes is greatest when a mother acquires an HSV infection for the first time in late pregnancy.

Infants infected with disseminated herpes typically present symptoms very similar to those associated with a bacterial infection. Since a neonatal herpes infection can be seen up to four weeks after birth, clinicians caring for newborns in clinics, offices, and emergency rooms must be familiar with the symptoms of this disease. Any delay in the identification of at risk pregnancies or in the diagnosis of neonatal HSV infection can have disastrous consequences and can lead to permanent disabilities or death.

Clinicians must be provided with the most up to date information and clinical education on the risk factors, clinical presentations and treatment options to treat this disease.

We want to see mandatory testing across the UK for all women that become pregnant, using the Western Blot Test, the most accurate form of testing that leads to less false positive results. We also want to see more funding made available for research to be done on this virus so that better treatment options become available for use.

Finally we look to the health care system to educate the public on this disease. Many people are unaware they carry the virus because they show no signs or symptoms or they have been misdiagnosed by medical professionals, but this virus has can still be transmitted through asymptomatic shedding (no signs or symptoms). Although rare, a simple kiss, diaper change or breastfeeding from someone who is unaware or shows no signs of the virus can pass on the virus to their infant.

HSV 1 and 2 should be mentioned on information boards in doctors, in midwives offices, in waiting rooms and even in toilets. It needs to be talked about more, something so fatal can’t be ignored and neither should the amount of neonatal deaths every year. No one should ever have to attend never mind host a child’s funeral.

We need your help to bring this important issue to the attention of our local, regional and state health representatives.

Please join us in preventing the loss of more innocent infants because of an avoidable and treatable virus.

Leo William Aldcroft

Infected from HSV-2, something I passed onto him when I gave birth to him - unknowingly.
I did everything I could have possible to give my son the best start in life, as any mother would. I had a water birth, I breastfed, I did what I could during pregnancy to keep him safe and healthy.

I complained about thrush on the 2nd August, I gave birth on the 9th.. After self diagnosing myself, you would have thought a professional would have checked and made sure this was what I was experiencing or if it had gone! His death could have been prevented, if they had ran some tests or even an examination!

I believe that every pregnant woman and especially new mums should be asked about HSV, and offered a test because it can lie dormant. If they have antibodies then the mother will need to have medication at the end of her pregnancy, IF the mother DOESNT have antibodies, they should then be aware of the risks at the end of their pregnancy - the last 6 weeks especially and then even at the time of labour when booking in this should be asked if they have been sexually active in the last 6 weeks and then run a swab culture, urine test, a look with a strong light when you are in that area!!!

It might seem daughting doing this for every woman, but an extra step can save a life and the family, a death of a baby doesn’t just affect the mother, it affects the whole family especially when there’s other children excited for the new arrival.

We were in the hospital for three nights after being admitted, and no one seen the signs, no one checked my stitches while I was there - again they would have seen what was going on and Leo would have been treated before the infection had a chance. I could not see down there on my own, with my bump and then after giving birth, I was in so much pain.

Saying this my midwife had actually came round on the 14th - specifically to look down there. I thought I had an infection from my stitches. She looked at me, she seen the bumps and did not mention anything. This is has got to be down to the lack of knowledge
of this virus, which means there got to be some funding towards STIs and STDs in pregnancy.

Leo’s Full Story -


Thank you for taking the time to read and sign this petition!

Disclaimer - I am just a mother trying to make the world a better place. Leo didn’t deserve to start his life the way he did. When I first talked about Leo’s story, it reached far and wide and the number of views was incredible. We want to aim to get this around as many people as we can.