Transmission of herpes simplex virus Type 2 among factory workers in Ethiopia.
Kebede Y., Dorigo-Zetsma W., Mengistu Y., Mekonnen Y., Schaap A., Wolday D., Sanders EJ., Messele T., Coutinho RA., Dukers NHTM.
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.