Factors predicting the acceptance of herpes simplex virus type 2 antibody testing among adolescents and young adults

Gregory D. Zimet, Susan L. Rosenthal, J. Dennis Fortenberry, Rebecca C. Brady, Wanzhu Tu, Jingwei Wu, David I. Bernstein, Lawrence R. Stanberry, Katherine M. Stone, Jami S. Leichliter, Kenneth H. Fife

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: The rates and determinants of acceptance of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) testing have not been adequately studied. Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with acceptance of HSV-2 antibody testing in individuals with no history of genital herpes. Study: We conducted a cross-sectional survey study followed by the offer of free HSV-2 serologic testing at an urban sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic, 2 general adult medical clinics, an urban university campus, and an urban adolescent medicine clinic. A total of 1199 individuals aged 14 to 30 years completed the survey and were offered testing. Results: A total of 68.4% accepted HSV-2 testing. Factors independently associated with acceptance were female sex, older age, having an STD history, having 1 or more sexual partners in the last 6 months, perceived vulnerability to HSV-2 infection, and perceived benefits of HSV-2 testing. Fear of needles predicted rejection of testing, as did attending a general medical clinic versus an STD clinic and nonwhite race. Conclusion: There is a substantial interest in HSV-2 antibody testing across a variety of settings. Those at greatest behavioral and historic risk for HSV-2 infection, women, and persons whose health beliefs are consistent with testing are more likely to accept serologic testing when it is offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-669
Number of pages5
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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