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Ann Intern Med. 1995 Dec 1;123(11):845-7.

Increased genital shedding of herpes simplex virus type 2 in HIV-seropositive women.

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State University of New York-Health Science Center at Brooklyn, USA.



To compare the prevalence of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) shedding in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive women and HIV-seronegative women.


Cross-sectional study.


A major inner-city medical center.


106 women who were HIV-seropositive and HSV-2-seropositive and 70 women who were HIV-seronegative and HSV-2-seropositive were enrolled from various primary care settings.


Herpes simplex virus type 2 antibody determinations were done for all patients. Regardless of symptoms, vulvar and cervical HSV cultures were obtained from all HIV-seropositive women and from a randomly selected subgroup of HIV-seronegative women.


The prevalence of HSV-2 shedding was nearly four times greater in HIV-seropositive than in HIV-seronegative women (13.2% compared with 3.6%; P = 0.04; odds ratio, 4.1 [95% CI, 1.0 to 27.4]) when the serum antibody for HSV-2 was present. Seventy-nine percent of viral shedding among HIV-seropositive women was asymptomatic. Overall viral shedding increased significantly as the CD4 cell count decreased.


Women with HIV infection, particularly those with low CD4 cell counts, shed HSV-2 from the vulva and cervix more commonly than women not infected with HIV. Most of this shedding is asymptomatic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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