Predictors of herpes simplex virus type 2 antibody positivity among persons with no history of genital herpes

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The demographic, historical, and behavioral factors that predict a positive herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) antibody test in persons without a history of genital herpes have not been well-defined. Methods: Individuals (age 14-30 years) without a history of genital herpes completed a questionnaire and were offered free HSV-2 antibody testing. Factors from the questionnaire were correlated with the HSV-2 antibody result. Results: Univariate analysis showed that female gender was significantly associated with positive test results. In gender-specific, multiple logistic regression models, a positive HSV-2 antibody test among men was associated with older age, non-white race, and a history of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gender-specific symptom scores from the questionnaire were not predictive in either gender, but the gender-common symptom score was marginally predictive of a positive HSV-2 antibody test in women. Among women, older age, non-white race, and STD history predicted a positive test. Conclusions: Among young persons with no history of genital herpes who agreed to HSV-2 antibody testing, increasing age, non-white race, and a history of an STD were predictors of a positive test. A history of frequent pain, itching, burning, and rashes in the anogenital region was marginally associated with positive HSV-2 tests in women. These results might help guide selective use of HSV-2 antibody screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-681
Number of pages6
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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