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.