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Sex Transm Dis. 2003 May;30(5):405-10.

Risk factors for infection with herpes simplex virus type 2: role of smoking, douching, uncircumcised males, and vaginal flora.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Magee-Womens Research Institute, 204 Craft Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. rsitc@mail.magee.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), the primary cause of genital herpes, is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. Epidemiologic serosurveys suggest that infections occur more frequently in women than in men.

GOAL:

The goal of the study was to identify unique correlates of HSV-2 infection in women that might contribute to their increased susceptibility of infection or suggest opportunities for decreasing the incidence of disease.

STUDY DESIGN:

We enrolled 1207 women aged 18 to 30 years from three Pittsburgh health clinics in a cross-sectional study. Each woman provided demographic and behavioral information, vaginal swab specimens for bacterial culture, a vaginal smear for Gram stain diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis, and blood for HSV-1 and HSV-2 serology.

RESULTS:

Black race, older age, cigarette smoking, douching, a greater number of lifetime sex partners, a history of intercourse with an uncircumcised partner, the presence of vaginal group B Streptococcus, and abnormal vaginal flora were among the independent predictors of HSV-2 infection.

CONCLUSION:

HSV-2 infection may be occur more often in women who douche, smoke, have sex with uncircumcised partners, or have bacterial vaginosis; these represent alterable risk factors.

PMID:
12916131
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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