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Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2013 Sep-Oct;55(5):315-21. doi: 10.1590/S0036-46652013000500004.

Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 and risk factors associated with this infection in women in southern Brazil.


The herpes simplex virus type 2 (HVS-2) is the most prevalent infection worldwide. It is a cofactor in the acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the persistence of human papillomavirus (HPV). This study evaluated the prevalence of HSV-2, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and associated factors in patients treated at the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG) and Basic Health Units (BHU) in Rio Grande, Brazil. The observed prevalence of HSV-2 was 15.6%. Among the 302 women studied, 158 had received assistance in BHU and 144 were treated at FURG. The prevalence of HSV-2 in these groups was 10.8% and 20.8%, respectively, RR 1.9 and p = 0.012. Knowledge about the Pap smear, and the presence of lesions showed no association with HSV-2 infection. Multivariate analysis showed that the variable that most influenced the risk of HSV-2 infection was the presence of HIV infection, with a relative risk of 1.9 and p = 0.04.


Genital ulcers are an important entry point for HIV, and condom use is an important strategy to reduce transmission of HIV and HSV-2.

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