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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181666fb1
Article

Seroprevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 and Characteristics Associated With Undiagnosed Infection: New York City, 2004

Schillinger, Julia A. MD, MSc*†; McKinney, Christy M. PhD, MPH‡; Garg, Renu MPH*; Gwynn, R Charon PhD§; White, Kellee MPH∥; Lee, Francis MD, MSc¶; Blank, Susan MD*†; Thorpe, Lorna PhD*; Frieden, Thomas MD*

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Abstract

Background: Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is associated with substantial morbidity and increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus acquisition. We describe HSV-2 seroprevalence in adult New Yorkers, and examine the relationship between select characteristics, infection, and diagnosis.

Methods: HSV-2 seroprevalence and risk factors were measured using the 2004 New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a population-based cross-sectional survey of adults. HSV-2 seroprevalence and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were computed for select characteristics. Associations between proposed risk factors and HSV-2 infection and diagnosis were estimated using unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios.

Results: Nearly 28% of adults were infected with HSV-2; 88.4% of HSV-2 positive persons were undiagnosed. Black women had the highest seroprevalence (59.7%) of any sex or race/ethnicity group. Women, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics (vs. non-Hispanic whites), and men who have sex with men were at greater odds of HSV-2 infection. Among HSV-2 infected individuals, non-Hispanic blacks (vs. non-Hispanic whites), uncircumcised men, and those with no routine place of care were less likely to be diagnosed.

Conclusions: HSV-2 is highly prevalent and largely undiagnosed in New York City; seroprevalence varies by subgroup. Targeted HSV-2 screening, counseling and treatment may help reduce transmission of HSV-2 and human immunodeficiency virus.

© Copyright 2008 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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