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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 74  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 230--233

Herpes simplex virus 2 infection: A risk factor for HIV infection in heterosexuals

1 Department of Dermatology, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
G Raghu Rama Rao
Consultant Dermatologist, Gopal Sadan, D.No: 15-1-2C, Naoroji Road, Maharanipeta, Visakhapatnam - 530 002, AP
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.41367

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Background: Genital ulcerative disease is one of the risk factors for acquisition of HIV. As HSV-2 infection is currently the most common cause of genital ulcerative disease, it acts as a potential risk factor for HIV infection. The present study was undertaken to know the seroprevalence of antibodies to HSV-2 in HIV seropositive individuals and in the general population, and to ascertain if HSV-2 is a risk factor for developing HIV infection. Methods: The study group included one hundred new HIV seropositive persons irrespective of active genital herpes or history of genital herpes. Fifty age- and sex- matched healthy volunteers were included as controls. In all patients and controls, diagnostic serology was done for HSV-2 using HSV-2-specific glycoprotein IgG2 by indirect immunoassay using the ELISA test. Statistical value 'P' was calculated using the Chi-squared test. Results: Out of the 100 HIV seropositives, 66 were males and 34 were females with an age range of 20-54 years. In only 22 (19 males and 3 females) of these, positive history of genital herpes was obtained. In 49 out of the 100 HIV seropositives, IgG2 antibodies against HSV-2 were detected. In the control group, 11 out of 50 controls were seropositive for HSV-2 IgG2 antibody. There was a statistically significant association between HSV-2 and HIV seropositivity with 'P' value < 0.005. Conclusion: The high prevalence of HSV-2 seropositivity in the HIV-infected group (49%) as compared to normal controls (22%) was statistically significant. Prior HSV-2 infection could be an important risk factor for acquisition of HIV in our patients.


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