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Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Dec;31(12):753-60.

National seroprevalence and trends in herpes simplex virus type 1 in the United States, 1976-1994.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



The objectives of this study were to estimate national seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), describe trends in seroprevalence, and examine correlates of infection.


The goal of this study was to measure the burden of HSV-1 infection in the U.S. population.


We tested serum samples for HSV-1 antibody and analyzed questionnaire data collected for the second and third National Health and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES II, 1976-80; NHANES III, 1988-94). Seroprevalence estimates were weighted to represent the total U.S. population.


At the time of NHANES III, two thirds (68%) of the U.S. population 12 years and older had HSV-1 antibody. Prevalence increased with age and varied by race/ethnicity; the majority of persons in all race/ethnic groups were HSV-1-seropositive by age 30. Overall, the national seroprevalence of HSV-1 decreased nonsignificantly by 2% in the years between NHANES II and III; decreases in HSV-1 seroprevalence in some population subgroups were balanced by increases in other groups.


There was no overall change in the seroprevalence of HSV-1 in the U.S. population between NHANES II and III.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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