Herpes simplex 2 risk among women in a polygynous setting in rural West Africa

Halton, Kate, Ratcliffe, Amy, Morison, Linda, West, Beryl, Baily, Robin, & Walraven, Gijs (2003) Herpes simplex 2 risk among women in a polygynous setting in rural West Africa. AIDS, 17(1), pp. 97-103.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine risk factors for herpes simplex 2 (HSV2) infection in women in a polygynous rural Gambian population.

METHODS: Data from women who participated in a cross-sectional survey of reproductive health were matched to their own and, for women who had been or were married (ever-married), their spouses' data collected in a cross-sectional survey of fertility interests, including information on marital histories.

RESULTS: Data were available on 150 never-married and 525 ever-married women. HSV2 prevalence was 16% amongst never-married women and 36% amongst ever-married women. For ever-married women, their own personal characteristics (age, ethnicity and genital cutting status) and events from their husbands' marriage history were important determinants of HSV2 infection. Women whose husbands married for the first time over age 35 were at greater risk than women whose husbands married by age 24 [odds ratio (OR) 2.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20-6.10]. Women whose husband reported interest in a new marriage were more likely to be HSV2 positive (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.18-3.09). Women whose husbands were currently monogamous but had had previous marriages (OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.30-5.88) and women in currently polygynous marriages (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.66-5.01) were three times as likely to be HSV2 positive as women who were their husband's only wife ever.

CONCLUSION: Much transmission of HSV2 in this setting occurs within marriage where opportunity for personal protection is limited. High levels of transmission within marriage may undermine the impact of sexual behaviour change programmes aiming to reduce HSV2 and HIV incidence and complicate their evaluation.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 75181
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: herpes simplex 2, polygyny, epidemiology, The Gambia, transmission
ISSN: 0269-9370
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Infectious Diseases (110309)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2014 23:00
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2014 23:00

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