Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 in patients attending 2 Canadian sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics.
Study: Stored sera were tested for the presence of IgG class antibodies to HSV-1 and HSV-2 and results linked to that obtained from a risk behavior questionnaire.
Results: Overall prevalences for HSV-1 and -2 were 56% and 19%, respectively. HSV-1 and -2 seropositivity was associated with increasing age, female gender, nonwhite ethnicity, and a history of STD. HSV-2 seropositivity was also associated with a history of genital herpes, presence of genital sores, and coinfection with either human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis C (HCV).
Conclusions: Herpes simplex infection is common in this high-risk Canadian population. Our finding that HCV seropositivity was a significant predictor for HSV-2 seropositivity emphasizes the overlap between pathogens that are primarily thought to be bloodborne pathogens and sexually transmitted infections and the need to target prevention in these areas concurrently.