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The Acceptance of HSV-Testing Partners of HSV-2 Seronegative Pregnant Women

Gardella, Carolyn MD, MPH*; Krantz, Elizabeth MS; Daruthayan, Constance BS*; Drolette, Linda BS; Corey, Lawrence MD†‡§; Wald, Anna MD, MPH†‡∥

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: April 2009 - Volume 36 - Issue 4 - p 211-215
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318193ca40

Objectives: To estimate the acceptance of HSV testing partners of HSV seronegative pregnant women and identify associated factors.

Study Design: Consecutive women identified as HSV-2 seronegative during routine testing in pregnancy were asked to invite their partners for HSV testing to identify serodiscordance. Logistic regression identified factors associated with partner testing.

Results: Between 2001 to 2006, 315 women enrolled (28% of those approached) and 242 (77%) partners were tested. Married couples were most likely to be tested [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7.72, 95% CI: 2.47–24.15]. Partners of black women (aOR 0.17, 95% CI: 0.04–0.71), and those with at least a college degree (aOR 0.43, 95% CI: 0.19–0.98) were less likely to be tested.

Conclusions: In this population, partner testing among HSV-2 seronegative women was feasible which supports further study to determine if identification of partners who pose a potential risk of HSV infection during pregnancy is an effective approach to reduce HSV acquisition in pregnant women.

Among HSV-2 seronegative prenatal patients, 77% of partners underwent HSV serologic testing.

From the Departments of *Obstetrics and Gynecology, †Medicine, and ‡Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; §The Program in Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA; and ∥Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Supported by NIAID grants AI-30731 and K24 AI 071113 (to A.W.)

Carolyn Gardella was on the Speaker’s bureau for GlaxoSmithKline in 2006 but gave no talks and did not receive any compensation from this affiliation. Anna Wald has been a consultant for Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), Powdermed (Oxford, England), and Medigene (San Diego, CA) and a speaker for Merck Vaccines (Whitehouse Station, NJ). She received grant support for other projects from GlaxoSmithKline (Research Triangle Park, NC), Antigenics (NY, NY) and Astellas, Lawrence Corey received grant support for other projects from GSK, Novartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The University of Washington Virology Division Laboratories have received grant funding from GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis to undertake HSV serological assays and PCR assays for studies funded by these companies. Lawrence Corey directs these laboratories; he receives no salary support from these grants.

Elizabeth Krantz, Constance Darthyuan, and Linda Drolette report no conflicts of interest.

Presented, in part, at the Annual Meeting of the Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Monterey, California, August 3–5, 2006.

Correspondence: Carolyn Gardella, MD, MPH, University of Washington Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Box 356460, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail:

Received for publication March 17, 2008, and accepted October 15, 2008.

© Copyright 2009 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association