Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics are believed to fuel each other, especially in sub-Saharan countries. In Ethiopia during 1997-2002, a retrospective study was conducted to examine risk factors for infection and transmission of HSV-2, in a cohort of 1612 factory workers. Prevalence of HSV-2 seropositivity at enrollment was 40.9%, and incidence of seroconversion was 1.8 seroconversions/100 person-years (PY), which decreased over time. Independent risk factors for seropositivity were having an HSV-2-seropositive partner, female sex, HIV antibodies, positive Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay result, older age, low education level, and orthodox religion. These same factors were independent risk factors for HSV-2 seroconversion, with the exception of the latter 3. Most HSV-2-infected persons did not report symptoms. Among 41 monogamous HSV-2-serodiscordant heterosexual couples, incidence of HSV-2 seroconversion was 20.75 seroconversions/100 PY for women and 4.93 seroconversions/100 PY for men. The high burden of both HSV-2 and HIV infection in Ethiopia warrants stringent control measures.

Original publication




Journal article


J Infect Dis

Publication Date





365 - 372


Adult, Age Factors, Antibodies, Viral, Cohort Studies, Ethiopia, Female, HIV Antibodies, Herpes Genitalis, Herpesvirus 2, Human, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, Syphilis Serodiagnosis