483. Trends in Racial Disparities in Seroprevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 among Persons Aged 14-49—United States, 1988-2010
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Public Health
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C

Genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections in the United States. We sought to assess racial disparities in HSV-2 seroprevalence between non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks and to describe trends over time from 1988 to 2010.


Data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), were used to determine national HSV-2 seroprevalence estimates from 1988-2010. Persons aged 14 to 49 years were included in these analyses. Race/ethnicity was defined by self-report as non-Hispanic white or non-Hispanic black. Purified glycoprotein specific for HSV-2 (gG-2) was used to detect type-specific antibodies using an immunodot assay. The same assay was used in all surveys. History of diagnosed genital herpes was self-reported.


Overall, HSV-2 seroprevalence decreased in the United States between 1988-1994 and 2007-2010, from 21.2% to 15.5%.  Among non-Hispanic white males, HSV-2 seroprevalence decreased from 13.7% (1988-1994) to 7.2% (2007-2010), p<0.001; HSV-2 seroprevalence remained stable among non-Hispanic black males 32.9% (1988-1994) to 31.7% (2007-2010), p=0.9. The male black:white prevalence ratio was 2.4 (95% CI 1.9, 2.9) in 1988-1994 increasing to 4.4  (95% CI 3.3,  5.8) in 2007-2010, p=0.001. Among females, the black:white prevalence ratio was 2.7 (95% CI 2.4, 3.0) in 1988-1994 increasing to 3.3 (95% CI 2.9, 3.7) in 2007-2010, p=0.01.   The overall percentage of HSV-2 seropositive survey participants who reported never being told by a doctor or health-care professional that they had genital herpes did not change significantly between 1988-1994 and 2007-2010 and remained high (90.7% and 87.4%, respectively).


While HSV-2 seroprevalence has decreased overall, this change is most marked among non-Hispanic whites, and racial disparities have significantly increased over time. These persistent disparities demonstrate the need for innovative prevention strategies among this at-risk population.

Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH1, Akbar Zaidi, PhD2, Lashan Taylor, DrPH, MPH, MS2,3, Fujie Xu, MD, PhD4 and Lauri Markowitz, MD2, (1)Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, (2)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, (3)CDC, Atlanta, GA, (4)Division of Viral Hepatitis, Division of Viral Hepatitis, Atlanta, GA


R. N. Fanfair, None

A. Zaidi, None

L. Taylor, None

F. Xu, None

L. Markowitz, MD, None

See more of: Public Health
See more of: Poster Abstract Session

Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PST, Oct. 2nd with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.