Antibody to herpes simplex virus type 2 as a marker of sexual risk behavior in rural Tanzania
ABSTRACT A serosurvey was conducted in a random sample of 259 women and 231 men in 12 rural communities in Mwanza Region, Tanzania, using a type-specific ELISA for Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection. Seroprevalence rose steeply with age to approximately 75% in women >=25 years old and 60% in men >=30. After adjusting for age and residence, HSV-2 prevalence was higher in women who were married, in a polygamous marriage, Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay (TPHA)-positive, had more lifetime sex partners, or who had not traveled. Prevalence was higher in men who were married, had lived elsewhere, had more lifetime partners, had used condoms, or were TPHA-positive. HSV-2 infection was significantly associated with recent history of genital ulcer. The association between HSV-2 infection and lifetime sex partners was strongest in those <25 years old in both sexes. This association supports the use of HSV-2 serology as a marker of risk behavior in this population, particularly among young people.
SourceAvailable from: Marion Mutugi
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ABSTRACT: The present study was undertaken to determine Herpes Simplex Virus-2 seroprevalence in sexually active adults aged 20-49 and to investigate the correlation with sociodemographic characteristics and to find its association with other sexually transmitted diseases especially HIV and also to assess the proportion of primary and reactivated HSV-2 cases. This prospective study was carried out for a period of six months in a tertiary care hospital. Serum samples were taken from 91 patients attending the out Patient clinic of the Department of Venereology. The serological testing for HSV-2 was performed on all the specimens by using Euroimmun anti-HSV2 (gG2) IgM ELISA and IgG ELISA. Out of the 91 STD patients in the study group, 18 males (34.62%) and 14 females (36.84%) tested positive for HSV-2 antibodies. Seropositivity rate is 35.16%. More number of HSV-2 positive cases were seen among males, older age, rural residence, low socioeconomic status, single marital status, irregular condom usage during the sexual intercourses with new partners and with higher number of sexual partners during lifetime. HSV-2 IgM alone was positive in three cases, HSV-2 IgG alone was positive in 26 cases and three had a positive HSV-2 IgM and IgG result. Addition of IgM testing increased rate of detecting seroconversion, 31.87%, when only IgG ELISA was used, to 35.16 % patients when IgM test was added. In the study group four cases tested positive for VDRL, and one of them was a known positive case. Among the 55 HIV positive cases in the study group, HSV 2 was positive in 17 cases and among the 36 HIV negative cases HSV 2 was positive in 15 cases. (30.91% and 47.22%).Though the number of HIV cases were high, HSV 2 positivity among them was statistically not significant. The purpose of screening for HSV-2 is not only to identify seropositivity, but to help seropositive people identify symptoms and protect themselves from acquiring HIV and to protect their partners and seronegative people from acquiring HSV-2 and/or HIV.