Objective: To compare genital HSV shedding among HIV-positive and HIV-negative women.
Methods: Women with and without known HIV infection who delivered at the University of Washington Medical Center between 1989-1996 had HSV serologies done as part of clinical care. Genital swabs from HSV-2-seropositive women were evaluated by real-time quantitative HSV DNA PCR.
Results: HSV-2 seroprevalence was 71% and 30% among 75 HIV-positive and 3051 HIV-negative women, respectively, (P < .001). HSV was detected at delivery in the genital tract of 30.8% of HIV-seropositive versus 9.5% of HIV-negative women (RR = 3.2, 95% CI 1.6 to 6.5, P = .001). The number of virion copies shed per mL was similar (log 3.54 for HIV positive versus 3.90 for HIV negative, P = .99).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that HIV-, HSV-2-coinfected women are more likely to shed HSV at delivery.