Association between Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Seropositivity among Male Factory Workers in Zimbabwe

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To determine the seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), to identify correlates of infection, and to describe the correlation with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity, 224 HIV-negative and 191 HIV-positive male factory workers in Zimbabwe were screened for HSV-2-specific antibodies. HSV-2 seroprevalence was 35.7% among HIV-negative subjects and 82.7% among HIV-positive subjects. The weighted estimate of HSV-2 seroprevalence in this population is 44.6%. The correlation between HIV and HSV-2 remained significant after controlling for multiple sex partners, paying for sex, and history of sexually transmitted disease (adjusted odds ratio, 8.0; 95% confidence interval, 4.8-13.1). If the association between HSV-2 and HIV is causal, then the high seroprevalence of HIV and HSV-2 suggests that suppressive HSV-2 treatment should be considered as a strategy to reduce HIV transmission in this population. HSV-2 seroconversion may be a suitable surrogate end point to evaluate HIV prevention interventions.

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