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.