674. Prevalence and Risk Factors for Infection with Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1 and -2 Among African American Women Who Have Sex with Women in Mississippi
Session: Abstracts: Virology
Friday, October 22, 2010
Background:

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide. Although HSV-2 remains the main causative agent of most virologically confirmed infections, HSV-1 is associated with an increasing proportion of cases of genital herpes. Prior epidemiological studies have shown that higher rates of HSV-2 infection are seen in heterosexual blacks compared to whites and in women compared to men. There is little data assessing the prevalence and risk factors for infection with HSV type-1 and -2 among African American women who have sex with women (AAWSW). The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of HSV-1 and -2 in a cross-section of sexually active AAWSW and assess associated risk behaviors.

Methods:

Participants of a Women’s Reproductive Health Program recruited from clinical and non-clinical venues were asked to participate if they were AA, 18 years or older and reported sexual activity (digital, oral, vaginal, and/or anal) with another woman within the past 6 months. A survey on demographical and risk behavior characteristics was completed. Serum was obtained and tested for HSV-1 and -2 antibodies using the Focus Diagnostics Herpes Select HSV-1 and -2 ELISA assay.

Results:

Among 154 women, mean age was 24.6 ± 5.2SD. Antibodies to HSV-1 were detected in 67.5% and to HSV-2 in 41.0%. Lifetime sex with men was reported by 73.4% while sex with a man within the past 12 months was reported by 41.6%. The majority of HSV-2 seropositive women (88.9%) reported no prior history of genital herpes. In multivariate analysis, increasing age, exchange of sex for money or drugs, and douching predicted seropositivity to HSV-2. HSV-2 infection was not predicted by sexual identity or report of sex with men. Of 15 women reporting no prior history of sex with men, 26.6% were HSV-2 positive. No demographical or behavioral characteristics were independently associated with seropositivity to HSV-1.

Conclusion:

Overall, prevalence of HSV-1 and -2 infections in this group of AAWSW is high. The majority of women infected with HSV-2 were not aware of their infection. Counseling services about susceptibility and transmissibility of genital herpes infection should be routinely provided to this group of women.


Subject Category: C. Clinical studies of bacterial infections and antibacterials including sexually transmitted diseases and mycobacterial infections (surveys, epidemiology, and clinical trials)

Speakers:
Christina Muzny, MD , Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Heather King, CFNP , Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Imran Sunesara, MBBS, MPH , Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Leandro Mena, MD , Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS

Disclosures:

C. Muzny, None

H. King, None

I. Sunesara, None

L. Mena, None

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