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Risk factors for herpes simplex virus type 2 and its association with HIV among pregnant teenagers in Zimbabwe

Marshall W. Munjoma A E , Munyaradzi P. Mapingure B and Babill Stray-Pedersen C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Box A178, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.

B College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Department of Community Medicine, Box A178, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.

C Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 0027 Oslo, Norway.

D University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 1130, Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.

E Corresponding author. Email:

Sexual Health 7(1) 87-89
Submitted: 23 September 2009  Accepted: 1 December 2009   Published: 15 February 2010


Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) causes a chronic infection that is recognised as the leading cause of genital ulcer disease worldwide and is known to increase the risk of HIV infection. In a cross-sectional study we examined risk factors for HSV-2 among 176 pregnant teenagers recruited from three primary health care clinics in Zimbabwe. The prevalence of HSV-2 and HIV were 41.6% and 29.2% respectively. HIV-infected teenagers were more likely to be HSV-2 seropositive compared with the HIV uninfected teenagers, odds ratio (OR) 7.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.7–16.9). In multivariate analysis having an older partner remained independently associated with HSV-2 seropositivity, OR 2.9 (95% CI 1.2–6.9) suggesting that risk factors for HSV-2 seropositivity among pregnant teenagers depend primarily on the behaviour of the male partners.

Additional keywords: co-infection, prevalence, sexual behaviour.


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