Background and Objectives: Few published data describe the seroprevalence of antibodies to herpes viruses and hepatitis viruses among Southwestern minority women. Goals: To determine the prevalence of antibodies to herpes simplex virus type-1 and type-2, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C among 595 southwestern Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients seeking gynecologic care; and to investigate risk factors associated with seropositivity. Study Design: Analysis of serologic and interview data. Antibody assays were based on purified glycoprotein assays (herpes simplex virus), and commercial assays for hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus. Results: Hispanic ethnicity was a risk factor for herpes simplex virus type-1 (age-adjusted odds ratio, 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-5.3) but was not associated with antibodies to herpes simplex virus type-2, hepatitis B virus, or hepatitis C virus. Risks associated with seropositivity to herpes simplex virus type-2 included a high lifetime number of sex partners, history of any sexually transmitted disease, and increasing age. Among all patients with herpes simplex virus type-2 antibodies, only 11.1% gave histories of genital herpes infection. For women with antibodies to hepatitis B virus, 31.1% gave histories of hepatitis during adulthood. Conclusions: The seroprevalence of antibodies to herpes simplex virus type-1 and herpes simplex virus type-2 was high in this clinic population; the prevalence of antibodies to herpes simplex virus type-1 was significantly higher in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites. Antibodies to herpes simplex virus type-2 and hepatitis B virus were associated with most indicators of sexual behavior. The high prevalence of antibodies to herpes simplex virus type-2 and the infrequent reporting of histories of genital herpes suggest that asymptomatic infection with herpes is common among these clinic patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases