Objective: Our purpose was to determine whether pregnant women infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 have an increased risk of herpes simplex virus-2 seropositivity and herpes simplex virus reactivation at delivery.
Study design: Sixty women infected with human immunodeficiency virus and 8408 other patients who were delivered at the University of Washington between 1989 and 1995 had herpes simplex virus serologic determinations at delivery. Genital herpes simplex virus cultures were obtained for 48 (80%) of the human immunodeficiency virus-infected women and 5567 (66%) of the controls. Logistic regression was used to adjust for possible confounding factors.
Results: Forty-five (75%) of human immunodeficiency virus-infected women and 2709 (32%) controls were seropositive for herpes simplex virus-2 (p < 0.0001). Eight percent of human immunodeficiency virus-infected women and 2% of controls had herpes simplex virus reactivation in labor (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Infection with herpes simplex virus-2 is common among pregnant women infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Herpes simplex virus reactivation complicates labor in this group more often than in other obstetric patients. The role of herpes simplex virus in perinatal human immunodeficiency virus transmission warrants further study.