Prevalence and risk factors for HSV-2 infection acquisition in men who have sex with men cohort in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Background: HSV-2 is the primary cause of genital herpes and most of the infections are asymptomatic. The infection by HSV-2 may be a risk factor to acquisition and transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases (STD), including infection by HIV.The objective is to estimate the prevalence and identify the risk factors associated with infection by HSV-2 in a cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM), at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz [Oswaldo Cruz Foundation], Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 1994-1998.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis, evaluating sociodemographic, behavioral, and laboratorial baseline data from the initial 403 volunteers enrolled in the cohort. Samples were tested by ELISA to detect antibodies type-specific against HSV-2 gG2. Samples were tested by HSV-2 EIA (Focus Technologies, HerpeSelect, Cypress, CA). HSV-2 seropositivity was defined by a reactive ELISA with an index ratio ³ 3.5, compared with the cutoff value.
Results: The prevalence for anti-HSV-2 antibodies observed in this population was 45,6%. After multivariate analysis, the following factors were found to be independently associated with HSV-2 infection: older age (³ 26 years), non-white race, positive serology for syphilis (TPHA), and “having had unprotected sex with a male partner” and “having had unprotected sex with a female partner” in the 6 months preceding the baseline interview.
Conclusions: This study shows a high prevalence of HSV-2 infection in this high risk group and its association with other STDs, consistent with other studies. Comprehensive prevention approaches for MSM populations are urgently needed in order to to curb the spread of HSV-2 infection, other STDs and HIV in this population.
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