Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31816fcaf8
Article

Risk Factors for Incident Herpes Simplex Type 2 Virus Infection Among Women Attending a Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic

GALLO, MARIA F. PhD*; WARNER, LEE PhD*; MACALUSO, MAURIZIO MD, DrPH*; STONE, KATHERINE M. MD*; BRILL, ILENE MPH†; FLEENOR, MICHAEL E. MD, MPH‡; HOOK, EDWARD W. III MD†‡§∥; AUSTIN, HARLAND D. DSc¶; LEE, FRANCIS K. PhD#; NAHMIAS, ANDRé J. MD, MPH#

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Abstract

Objectives: To estimate the incidence of herpes simplex type 2 virus (HSV-2) infection, to identify risk factors for its acquisition, and to assess the protective effect of condoms.

Study Design: Prospective study of 293 HSV-2 seronegative women, aged 18 to 35 years, attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Alabama from 1992 to 1995.

Results: Incidence of HSV-2 infection was 20.5 per 100 woman-years [95% confidence interval (CI), 13.1–30.5]. Young women (18–20 years) had a significantly higher risk of incident HSV-2 infection [adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 2.8; 95% CI, 1.3–6.4] than older women. Women diagnosed with prevalent or incident bacterial vaginosis had a higher incidence of HSV-2 infection than those who were not so diagnosed (adjusted HR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1–5.6). No significant protective effect was observed for consistent (100%) condom use without breakage and slippage against HSV-2 acquisition (adjusted HR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.2–2.3).

Conclusion: Acquisition of HSV-2 infection among study participants was higher than previous estimates for adult female sexually transmitted disease clinic attendees, and no protective effect for condoms was demonstrated. The high incidence of HSV-2 infection with its potential for adverse health consequences emphasizes the need for better prevention strategies.

© Copyright 2008 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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