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27.09.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 7/2018

AIDS and Behavior 7/2018

Prevalent Herpes Simplex Virus-2 Increases the Risk of Incident Bacterial Vaginosis in Women from South Africa

AIDS and Behavior > Ausgabe 7/2018
Nathlee S. Abbai, Makandwe Nyirenda, Sarita Naidoo, Gita Ramjee


Studies have shown that women diagnosed with herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) have a higher risk for bacterial vaginosis (BV) infection. We investigated the presence of HSV-2 infections as a risk factor for incident BV infections in high risk, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) uninfected women enrolled in a HIV prevention trial in Durban, South Africa. The Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic trial was a multicentre, double blinded, randomized controlled trial which was designed to estimate the effectiveness of daily treatment with vaginal tenofovir gel, oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and oral Truvada in preventing HIV-1 infection in women. Women provided samples for the diagnosis of HSV-2 and BV. The presence of HSV-2 antibodies was detected using HerpeSelect™ ELISA IgG. Bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed using the Nugent scoring system. To assess the risk of BV incidence, modelled as a time-dependent variable, we used the Andersen-Gill model with robust variance estimation and Efron methods for ties. Overall, 2750 women were enrolled in the VOICE trial at our study sites. Women who had a HSV-2 infection at enrolment were shown to be at increased risk for incident BV infections (adjusted hazard ratio 1.17, 95% CI 1.08, 1.27, p ≤ 0.001). In addition, being of a young age, being unmarried and having a partner that has other partners were significantly associated with subsequent BV infection. Our findings therefore advocate the need for strengthening STI prevention efforts among women in high burden STI settings.

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