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The Epidemiology of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection in Low-Income Urban Populations in Coastal Peru

Konda, Kelika A. BA; Klausner, Jeffrey D. MD, MPH†‡; Lescano, Andres G. MHS†‡**; Leon, Segundo BS§; Jones, Franca R. PhD; Pajuelo, Jose MD§; Caceres, Carlos F. MD, PhD§; Coates, Thomas J. PhDThe NIMH Collaborative HIV/STI Prevention Trial Group

doi: 10.1097/

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the epidemiology of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in general and socially marginalized populations of low-income, urban, coastal Peru.

Study: Two low-income populations were administered an epidemiologic survey and serologic tests, determining risk behavior, HSV-2, and HIV prevalence.

Results: In the socially marginalized population, HSV-2 prevalence was 72.3% in men who have sex only with men (MSOM), 42.5% in women, and 20.7% in men. In the general population, HSV-2 prevalence was 20.5% in women and 7.1% in men. In all groups except the male general population, HSV-2 prevalence increased with age or number of sexually active years (both P <0.001). HSV-2 infection was associated with HIV infection in MSOM (P <0.023) and other socially marginalized men (P <0.01).

Conclusion: HSV-2 was common in both low-income populations, and control programs are needed in Peru given high prevalence and association with HIV infection. Prevention of HSV-2 infection should target individuals before they become sexually active.

A study of two populations, one general and one socially marginalized, in low-income, urban, coastal Peru found that herpes simplex virus type 2 infection was common in both although significantly more prevalent in the socially marginalized population.

From the *Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; †San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California; the ‡University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; §Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; the ¶U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Lima, Peru; ∥David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California; and **NIMH Multisite International Group, Bethesda, Maryland

The authors thank the counselors and field staff in Peru, without whom this project would not have been possible, as well as the laboratory staff (Rina Meza, Nilda Gadea, Rosa Castillo, Monica Nieto, Juan Carlos Lara, and Federico Fernandez) at the Naval Medical Research Center Detachment in Lima, and Corey Long.

This study was funded by NIH/NIMH grant U10 MH61536, which is a five-country Cooperative Agreement being conducted in China, India, Peru, Russia, and Zimbabwe. Each site has selected a different venue and population with which to implement the prevention program entitled Community Public Opinion Leader (C-POL) Intervention. This article is based on a prebaseline study conducted in all the sites to prepare for initiation of the intervention. The Steering Committee for this trial is Carlos Caceres, MD, MPH (Peru); David Celentano, ScD (U.S./India); Thomas Coates, PhD (U.S./Peru); Tyler Hartwell, PhD (U.S./RTI); Danuta Kaspck, PhD (U.S./Zimbabwe); Willo Pequegnat (NIMH); Mary Jane Rotheram, PhD (U.S./China); Suniti Solomon, MD (India); Godfrey Woelk, PhD (Zimbabwe); and Zunyou Wu, MD (China).

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position or the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

Previously published as an abstract: Klausner JD, Jones FR, Meza R, et al. A NIMH STD/HIV Collaborative Prevention Trial. The epidemiology of genital herpes in low and high-risk populations for HIV infection, Peru, 2001–2002 [Abstract ThPpC2098]. In: Abstracts of the XV International AIDS Conference, Bangkok, Thailand. MedGenMed 2004; 6:ThPpC2098.

Correspondence: Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH, STD Prevention and Control Services, 1360 Misson St., Suite 401, San Francisco, CA 94103. E-mail:

Received for publication October 24, 2004, and accepted February 4, 2005.

© Copyright 2005 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association