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J Glob Infect Dis. 2019 Jan-Mar;11(1):19-24. doi: 10.4103/jgid.jgid_56_18.

Co-infection of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 and HIV Infections among Pregnant Women in Ibadan, Nigeria.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.



Genital infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) facilitates the acquisition of HIV, both mutually reinforcing infection. Lifelong latent HSV-2 infection raises concerns among women of reproductive age, considering the risk of neonatal transmission. In Nigeria, screening for HSV-2 and co-infection with HIV in antenatal clinics is not routine. This study was undertaken to determine the seroprevalence and co-infection of HSV-2 and HIV among pregnant women.


This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the antenatal clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, between March and August 2013. A total of 270 consenting pregnant women were enrolled. The study involved collecting socio-demographic data and laboratory determination of HSV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) and HIV seroprevalence using type-specific third-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DIAPRO Diagnostic Bioprobes, Milan, Italy) and Uni-Gold Recombigen/ALERE determine, respectively. Data analyses were done using SPSS version 20 (SPSS Inc., IL, USA).


The seroprevalence for HSV-2 type-specific IgG was 33.3% (90/270), and HIV antibodies were identified in 19.63% (53/270) of the women. The HIV co-infection was 38.8% (35/90) among HSV-2-positive women and 10% (18/180) among HSV-2-negative women. Majority of the HSV-2 positive women (62.2%, 56/90) presented in their 2nd trimester while 18.9% (17/90) in their 3rd trimester.


The seroprevalence of HSV-2 in this pregnant population is lower than what is observed in some other Sub-Saharan African countries; however, HSV-2/HIV co-infection is high. The HSV-2-seronegative women are still susceptible to primary HSV-2 infection in pregnancy with increased risk for HIV co-infection and neonatal transmission.


HIV; herpes simplex virus type 2; neonatal transmission; pregnancy; prevalence

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