Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence and correlates of herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in women in an antenatal clinic in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
Study Design: A prevalence survey of sexually transmitted infections of pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic at Vila Central Hospital was conducted in 1999–2000. Serum samples were tested for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results for other sexually transmitted infections and demographic and obstetric variables were analyzed for their association with HSV-2 serostatus.
Results: HSV-2 serum antibody results were obtained on 535 women and HSV-1 results on 134. The seroprevalence of HSV-2 was 30% and HSV-1 was 100%. On multivariate analysis, the independent predictors of HSV-2 infection were age, marital status, and trichomoniasis.
Conclusions: HSV-2 was common in this sample of sexually active women in Vanuatu. This is the first study of HSV in Vanuatu and one of very few studies in the Pacific region.