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J R Soc Promot Health. 2002 Jun;122(2):108-11.

Seroprevalence of antibodies to herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 among two sexually active female populations in Middlesbrough, England.

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Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Middlesbrough General Hospital, Ayresome Green Lane, Middlesbrough, Cleveland TS5 5AZ, England.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection occurs worldwide but its epidemiology varies between different countries and between groups of individuals. Seroprevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies is a more accurate method of determining epidemiology of this infection. In this cross-sectional study, 467 blood samples were obtained from women attending the genitourinary medicine clinic (GUM) and antenatal clinic (ANC) in Middlesbrough, England. Analysis of their blood samples showed that 69.5% GUM patients had HSV-1 antibodies and the figure was 54.5% in the ANC patients, p < 0.0001, with odds ratio 1.9 (95% CI 1.30 to 2.78) for higher prevalence in the GUM group. Also, for HSV-2 antibodies, the seroprevalence was 21.6% for GUM and 8.1% for ANC patients, p < 0.0001, with an odds ratio of 3.13 (95% CI 1.70 to 6.02) for higher prevalence in the GUM group. The overall prevalence for HSV-1 is 63.2% and for HSV-2 is 15.8%. Many of these patients were asymptomatic and constitute a potential source for spreading the virus. Knowledge of HSV seroprevalence can help in planning sexual health promotion strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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