Seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 and characteristics associated with undiagnosed infection: New York City, 2004

Julia A. Schillinger, Christy M. McKinney, Renu Garg, R. Charon Gwynn, Kellee White, Francis Lee, Susan Blank, Lorna Thorpe, Thomas Frieden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is associated with substantial morbidity and increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus acquisition. We describe HSV-2 seroprevalence in adult New Yorkers, and examine the relationship between select characteristics, infection, and diagnosis. Methods: HSV-2 seroprevalence and risk factors were measured using the 2004 New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a population-based cross-sectional survey of adults. HSV-2 seroprevalence and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were computed for select characteristics. Associations between proposed risk factors and HSV-2 infection and diagnosis were estimated using unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios. Results: Nearly 28% of adults were infected with HSV-2; 88.4% of HSV-2 positive persons were undiagnosed. Black women had the highest seroprevalence (59.7%) of any sex or race/ethnicity group. Women, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics (vs. non-Hispanic whites), and men who have sex with men were at greater odds of HSV-2 infection. Among HSV-2 infected individuals, non-Hispanic blacks (vs. non-Hispanic whites), uncircumcised men, and those with no routine place of care were less likely to be diagnosed. Conclusions: HSV-2 is highly prevalent and largely undiagnosed in New York City; seroprevalence varies by subgroup. Targeted HSV-2 screening, counseling and treatment may help reduce transmission of HSV-2 and human immunodeficiency virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-606
Number of pages8
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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