Objectives: To pilot test the feasibility of screening pregnant teens for HSV-2 infection during their first prenatal visit. Study Design: A cross-sectional study of 127 African-American adolescent females recruited during their first attendance to a prenatal clinic in a large urban hospital. A rapid serologic test (POCkit, manufactured by Diagnology Inc.) was used to assess HSV-2. The test uses a membrane-based immunoassay to detect circulating IgG antibodies to a specific antigen obtained from HSV-2 (semi-purified glycoprotein G2). Results: More than one-fifth (21.3%) of the adolescents tested positive for HSV-2; only 1 adolescent was previously aware of her infection. Older adolescents and those reporting a history of other STDs were significantly more likely to test positive for HSV-2. Conclusions: Testing for HSV-2 in early pregnancy may be an efficient strategy for (1) initiating patient education designed to promote adoption of protective behaviors among adolescents at risk of HSV-2 acquisition during the remainder of their pregnancy and (2) teaching those who test positive how to recognize symptoms of HSV-2 outbreaks; patients reporting recurrent outbreaks during pregnancy may benefit from predelivery assessment.
- African-American, adolescents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology