The high prevalence of genital herpes among patients with genital ulcer disease in Uganda

Sex Transm Dis. 1995 Nov-Dec;22(6):351-4. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199511000-00006.


Background: Genital ulcer disease is a risk factor for transmission of human immunodeficiency virus. One-hundred consecutive Ugandan patients (median age, 25 years) with genital ulcer disease were examined to determine the prevalence of genital herpes and its relationship to human immunodeficiency virus seropositivity.

Goal of this study: To improve management, prevention, and control of genital ulcer disease, thus reducing human immunodeficiency virus infections attributable to genital ulcer disease.

Study design: This was a prevalence study of genital herpes in a consecutive sample of an urban sexually transmitted disease clinic population.

Results: Forty-nine percent (48/98) of the patients had genital herpes (36% by direct fluorescent antigen and 13% by history of recurrent vesicles). There was a trend toward larger lesions in patients who were human immunodeficiency virus seropositive. Twelve percent (11/89) of patients had syphilis, and 30% (30/100) remained sexually active, despite the presence of active genital ulcer disease. Sixty-five percent of 89 patients tested had antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus.

Conclusions: Genital herpes is a common cause of genital ulcer disease in patients attending sexually transmitted disease clinics in Uganda, and herpes ulcers may be more extensive among those who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chancroid / prevention & control
  • Chancroid / virology*
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications*
  • HIV Seropositivity / transmission
  • Herpes Genitalis / complications*
  • Herpes Genitalis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Urban Health