Incidence and prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in persons seeking repeat HIV counseling and testing

Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Apr;30(4):331-4. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200304000-00011.


Background: Voluntary HIV testing sites provide an opportunity to identify and counsel persons with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection, thereby enhancing the prevention of HSV-2 and HIV infections. GOAL AND STUDY DESIGN: Using serologic specimens left over from HIV testing, we measured HSV-2 prevalence and incidence among persons who had repeatedly tested for HIV at anonymous counseling and testing sites in San Francisco during the period October 1997 through March 2000.

Results: The prevalence of HSV-2 infection was 23.5% (n = 987) overall, 28.7% among women, and 24.1% among men who have sex with men (MSM). In relation to race/ethnicity, HSV-2 prevalence was highest among African Americans (34.4%). The incidence of HSV-2 infection (n = 457 person-years [PY] of follow-up) was 2.6 per 100 PY overall and 3.1 per 100 PY among MSM. All but one of the HSV-2 seroconversions occurred among MSM. In multivariate subanalysis of MSM, a self-reported sexually transmitted disease (hazards ratio [HR], 4.3; 95% CI, 1.2-16.1) and HIV seroconversion (HR, 19.4; 95% CI 3.8-99.9) during the interval between tests were correlated with HSV-2 incident infection.

Conclusion: Offering HSV-2 serologic counseling and testing at HIV counseling and testing sites might help prevent the spread of both infectious diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Herpes Simplex / complications
  • Herpes Simplex / epidemiology*
  • Herpes Simplex / ethnology
  • Herpes Simplex / prevention & control*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sex Counseling
  • Sexuality / statistics & numerical data