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Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Nov;31(11):665-9.

Factors predicting the acceptance of herpes simplex virus type 2 antibody testing among adolescents and young adults.

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Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, USA.



The rates and determinants of acceptance of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) testing have not been adequately studied.


The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with acceptance of HSV-2 antibody testing in individuals with no history of genital herpes.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey study followed by the offer of free HSV-2 serologic testing at an urban sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic, 2 general adult medical clinics, an urban university campus, and an urban adolescent medicine clinic. A total of 1199 individuals aged 14 to 30 years completed the survey and were offered testing.


A total of 68.4% accepted HSV-2 testing. Factors independently associated with acceptance were female sex, older age, having an STD history, having 1 or more sexual partners in the last 6 months, perceived vulnerability to HSV-2 infection, and perceived benefits of HSV-2 testing. Fear of needles predicted rejection of testing, as did attending a general medical clinic versus an STD clinic and nonwhite race.


There is a substantial interest in HSV-2 antibody testing across a variety of settings. Those at greatest behavioral and historic risk for HSV-2 infection, women, and persons whose health beliefs are consistent with testing are more likely to accept serologic testing when it is offered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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