Prevalence and risk factors for herpes simplex virus type 2 infection among adolescents and adults in northern Cameroon

Sex Transm Dis. 2001 Dec;28(12):690-3. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200112000-00005.


Background: A number of surveys have reported a high prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection in south central and east central Africa.

Goal: To evaluate the distribution and modes of HSV-2 transmission in northern Cameroon.

Study design: A serosurvey was conducted among 194 adolescents and adults in a Cameroon hospital. Antibodies against HSV-2 were detected by a gG2-specific enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay.

Results: The prevalence of HSV-2 antibodies was found to be 37.1%. In the multivariate analysis, female gender, no condom use, a positive syphilis serology, and HIV infection were significantly associated with HSV-2 infection.

Conclusions: The current findings show that the HSV-2 seroprevalence in northern Cameroon is high and similar to that found in other African countries. HSV-2 infection represents a marker for at-risk sexual behavior and may be a common cofactor for HIV transmission in this geographic area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Cameroon / epidemiology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / epidemiology*
  • Herpes Simplex / virology
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral