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Prevalence, incidence and correlates of HSV-2 infection in an HIV incidence adolescent and adult cohort study in western Kenya
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  • Pubmed ID:
    28586396
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5460811
  • Description:
    Background

    Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infections are associated with increased risk of HIV transmission. We determined HSV-2 prevalence, incidence and associated risk factors, incidence among persons with indeterminate results, and prevalence of HSV-2/HIV co-infection among young adults (18–34 years) and adolescents (16–17 years) enrolled in an HIV incidence cohort study in western Kenya.

    Methods

    Participants (n = 1106; 846 adults) were screened and those HIV-1 negative were enrolled and followed-up quarterly for one year. HSV-2 was assessed using the Kalon enzyme immunoassay. HSV-2 incidence was calculated separately among HSV-2 seronegative participants and those indeterminate at baseline. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of HSV-2 infection and Poisson regression was used to assess HSV-2 incidence and associated factors.

    Results

    Overall, HSV-2 prevalence was 26.6% [95% confidence interval (CI): 23.9–29.4] and was higher in adults (31.5% [95% CI: 28.3–34.9]) than adolescents (10.7% [95% CI: 7.1–15.3]). Factors associated with prevalent HSV-2 included female gender, increasing age, HIV infection, history of sexually transmitted infection, low level of education, multiple sexual partners, and being married, divorced, separated or widowed. Overall HSV-2 incidence was 4.0 per 100 person-years (/100PY) 95% CI: 2.7–6.1 and was higher in adults (4.5/100PY) and females (5.1/100PY). In multivariable analysis only marital status was associated with HSV-2 incidence. Among 45 participants with indeterminate HSV-2 results at baseline, 22 seroconverted, resulting in an incidence rate of 53.2 /100PY [95% CI: 35.1–80.9]. Inclusion of indeterminate results almost doubled the overall incidence rate to 7.8 /100 PY [95% CI: 5.9–10.5]. Prevalence of HIV/HSV-2 co-infection was higher in female adults than female adolescents (17.1 [95% CI: 13.6–21.0] versus 3.4 [95% CI: 1.1–7.8]).

    Conclusion

    The high incidence rate among persons with indeterminate results underscores the public health concerns for HSV-2 spread and underreporting of the HSV-2 burden. Careful consideration is needed when interpreting HSV-2 serology results in these settings.

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