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J Adolesc Health. 2002 Mar;30(3):169-74.

Increased prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 among adolescent women with alcohol use disorders.

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Department of Medicine and the Center for Research on Health Care, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.



To determine the relationship between alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among a sample of sexually active adolescents.


Subjects were 240 sexually active male and female adolescents aged 14 to 21 years (mean 17.5 years) recruited from clinical and community settings in western Pennsylvania between 1991 and 1995; 55% had a lifetime history of AUDs (63 females, 69 males) and 45% did not have a lifetime history of AUDs (57 females, 51 males). Participants provided information about demographic factors and sexual behaviors as well as a serum sample that was assayed for antibodies to HSV-2, HBV, and HIV infections. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the independent relationship of AUDs to HSV-2 infections among females.


The seroprevalence of HSV-2 infections was 15% among females and 0% among males; the overall prevalence of HBV (1.2%) and HIV (0.4%) infections was very low. Among adolescent females, the seroprevalence of HSV-2 infections was significantly higher among those with an AUD (19%), compared with those without an AUD (10.5%) (adjusted odds ratio 8.1, 95% confidence interval 1.5-44.8, p =.017).


Adolescent women with an AUD appear to be at substantially increased risk of HSV-2 infection. These results highlight the need to address sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents with alcohol problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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