Résumé : Objective: The objective of this study was to provide information on the prevalence of herpes simplex infections in the general population in Europe. Goals: The goals of this study were to determine the prevalence of clinically probable genital herpes and the relationship between serotype and clinical expression in a French community-based sample. Study: A total of 4410 subjects chosen at random were serotyped for herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Data on symptoms were obtained by questionnaire allowing retrospective diagnosis of clinically probable genital herpes. Results: Questionnaire data and serotype were available for 3192 subjects. Seroprevalences of HSV-1 and HSV-2 were 65.6% and 15.5%, respectively. Prevalence of clinically probable genital herpes was 11.8%, identified in 11.1% of HSV-1-positive subjects and 26.8% of HSV-2-positive subjects, with a lower prevalence in those coinfected with both virus types. Conclusions: Clinically probable genital herpes was observed in one fourth of subjects with HSV-2 infections and in some subjects with HSV-1 infection. Coinfection with HSV-1 appeared to protect against symptom expression in subjects infected with HSV-2. Copyright © 2005, American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association. All rights reserved.