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Sexual and demographic determinants for herpes simplex virus type 2 among fishermen along Lake Victoria, Kenya
  1. M O Ng’ayo1,
  2. E Bukusi1,2,
  3. R A Morrow3,4,
  4. A Rowhani-Rahbar5,
  5. B A Obare1,
  6. D Friedrich4,
  7. K K Holmes6
  1. 1
    Center for Microbiology Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
  2. 2
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  3. 3
    Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  4. 4
    Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA
  5. 5
    Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  6. 6
    Center for AIDS and STD, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. M Otieno Ng’ayo, Kenya Medical Research Institute, CMRUCSF Building, Lumumba Health Center, PO Box 614, 40100 Kisumu, Kenya; motieno{at}


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and correlates of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seropositivity among fishermen along the shores of Lake Victoria in Kisumu district, Kenya.

Methods: Sera from a random sample of 250 fishermen from 18 beaches were collected after a detailed sociodemographic interview. HSV-2 infection was tested by Kalon HSV-2 ELISA.

Results: The HSV-2 seroprevalence was 63.9%. In multivariate analysis, fishermen were more likely to be infected with HSV-2 if they were HIV positive (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.27; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.52) compared with those testing HIV negative, were aged 18–20 (PR 0.49; 95% CI 0.24 to 0.99) and older than 40 (PR 1.66; 95% CI 1.30 to 2.14) years compared with those aged 21–25 years, perceived their last two sexual partners to have a sexually transmitted infection (STI; PR 1.27; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.52) compared with those who did not and were more likely to be circumcised (PR 1.49; 95% CI 1.19 to 1.86).

Conclusions: HSV-2 seroprevalence is high among this population and is associated with HIV serostatus, age, perception about partner’s STI status and circumcision.

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  • Funding: The study was funded, in part, by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease UW STI-TM CRC grant U19-AI31448 and by NIH/NIAID P01 AI30731-16. MON was supported by the International AIDS and Research Training Grant from the Fogarty Institute of the NIH.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Contributions: MON performed laboratory analyses and was the lead author for the paper, EB and KKH conceived and designed the study, AR analysed and interpreted the data, RAM and DF performed the laboratory analyses and BAO performed the data acquisition. All authors contributed to the write up.