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SPECIAL ARTICLES: REVIEW OF LITERATURE: GENERAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES

EFFECT OF CONDOMS ON REDUCING THE TRANSMISSION OF HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS TYPE 2 FROM MEN TO WOMEN

Section Editor(s): Bartlett, John G. MD

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Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: June-July 2001 - Volume 10 - Issue 5 - p 292
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EFFECT OF CONDOMS ON REDUCING THE TRANSMISSION OF HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS TYPE 2 FROM MEN TO WOMEN [Wald A, et al.JAMA2001;285:3100]:

This is another HSV report from Larry Corey and colleagues, this time in the form of a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial performed in 18 clinical centers involving 528 monogamous couples who were discordant for HSV-2 infection. This included 261 susceptible men and 267 susceptible women. During an 18-month follow-up period, HSV-2 transmission occurred in 26/267 susceptible women (10%) and 5/261 susceptible men (2%). The rate for transmission to women was 8.9/10,000 episodes of sexual intercourse, and for men it was 1.5/10,000 episodes. Condom use with more than 50% of sex acts at baseline was associated with a 92% reduction in HSV-2 transmission risk. The benefit of risk reduction with condoms was significantly associated with prevention of transmission to women, but not for men.

Comment.

This is the first study that documents the potential benefit of consistent condom use for prevention of HSV. This study also showed that the risk of HSV transmission is comparable to that with HIV. The lack of demonstrated benefit with condom use in female-male transmission was ascribed by the authors as a reflection of viral shedding from genital regions that are not protected with condoms.

Section Description

This section of IDCP features summaries of publications relevant to the practice of HIV/AIDS. In most cases, a comment is provided from the editor concerning interpretation, impact or further relevant information on the topic reviewed. This represents a modification of selected entries in the “What’s News” section of the Johns Hopkins website for ID HIV/AIDS (reprinted from http://www.hopkins-aids.edu with permission).

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.