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Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infections is a sexually transmitted
infection worldwide, which has a public health implications especially
as a driving force behind the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
epidemic. It is known to cause genital ulcer as well as lesions. It is a
lifelong recurrent disease with no cure. Due to the lack of documented
HSV-2 studies among HIV patients in this study area with an estimated
HIV prevalence of 38.7%, there was a need for estimating the
seroprevalence of HSV-2 infection in the study population. The sera of
223 consenting HIV positive patients were screened for HSV-2 specific
IgG using an ELISA test kit (Cortez Diagnostic, Inc, USA). The
chi-square test was performed to identify possible risk factors
associated with the viral seropositivity. The overall seroprevalence of
the viral infection was 77.6%. Females recorded a prevalence of 84.5%
and males 51.0% (p > 0.05). Participants aged ≤ 20 and ≥ 61 years
recorded a prevalence of 100%, while the lowest prevalence (66.7%) was
observed in those aged 51-60 years (p > 0.05). There was a
statistically significant association between the seroprevalence of
HSV-2 in HIV patients in relation to locality. Patients from the rural
setting had a higher prevalence (85.2%) of the infection than those from
the urban setting (72.6%) (p ≤ 0.05). However, in this study, marital
status, occupation, level of education, antiretroviral therapy (ART)
status and CD4 counts, had no statistically significant association with
HSV-2 infection (p > 0.05). Awareness campaigns that will promote
behavioral change might be the most important strategy to mitigate
transmission as most of the infected persons usually show no clinical
symptoms. The role of vaccination and condom use among high risk groups
may help in combating the transmission.
This study has contributed in documenting the prevalence of the
infection in Keffi using the ELISA test kit and has used the Chi square
statistical test. This study is one of the very few studies which have
investigated the prevalence of HSV-2 infection in North central,
Nigeria. The paper has contributed in logical analysis and in estimating
the prevalence and risk factors of the infection in Keffi. The study
documented a very high overall prevalence of the infection. It is
associated with gender, age and locality and not associated with marital
status, occupation, level of education, ART and CD4 counts.
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This study received no specific financial support.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.