Numerous studies suggest that herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) increases the risk of HIV-1 infection but recent clinical trials of HSV-2 suppressive therapy failed to show an effect. We assessed the putative association between HSV-2 and HIV-1 in a population of HIV-concordant-negative, HIV-1-discordant and HIV-1-concordant-positive married couples from Dakar, Senegal. In agreement with previous studies, we observed a strong overall association between HSV-2 and HIV-1 (odds ratio 4.61; P <0.001). However, this association was mainly determined by a low HSV-2 prevalence in HIV-concordant-negative couples compared with HIV-1-discordant and HIV-1-concordant-positive couples (23% versus 59% and 66%, respectively; P <0.001). We observed no further differences in HSV-2 prevalence between HIV-1-discordant and HIV-1-concordant-positive couples (59% and 66%, respectively; P = 0.483). Neither the index (59% versus 62%, P = 1.000) nor recipient partners (41% versus 63%, P = 0.131) in HIV-1-discordant and HIV-1-concordant-positive couples showed significant differences in HSV-2 prevalence. HSV-2 does not constitute a clear risk factor for HIV-1 infection in this population.
- Viral diseases
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Herpes simplex virus type 2