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Prevalence and factors associated with HSV-2 and hepatitis B infections among truck drivers crossing the southern Brazilian border
  1. Adriana A Pinho1,
  2. Magda Chinaglia2,
  3. Sheri A Lippman3,
  4. Arthur Reingold4,
  5. Ricardo Sobhie Diaz5,
  6. Maria Cecilia Sucupira5,
  7. Kimberly Page3,
  8. Juan Díaz2
  1. 1Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  2. 2Reprolatina and Population Council, São Paulo, Brazil
  3. 3University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
  4. 4Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
  5. 5Retrovirology Laboratory, Infectious Disease Division, Paulista School of Medicine, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Adriana A Pinho, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Av. Brasil, 4365, Biblioteca de Manguinhos, sala 229, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, CEP 21045-900, Brazil; adrianaapinho{at}


Objectives The authors estimate the prevalence of HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) infection and correlates of HBV and HSV-2 infection among truck drivers crossing the southern Brazilian border at Foz do Iguaçu.

Methods Between October 2003 and March 2005, 1945 truck drivers were sampled while accessing voluntary counselling and testing services; 1833 (94.2%) were tested for HIV (ELISA and confirmatory immunofluorescence assay) and syphilis (non-treponemal (VDRL) and treponemal tests (FTA-ABS)). From these, 799 stored sera were tested for HSV-2 (type-specific ELISA test for detection of IgG) and HBV (core antibodies (anti-HBc) with positives tested for surface antigen (HBsAg)). The authors estimate HIV, syphilis, HSV-2 and HBV prevalence and determine socio-demographic and behavioural correlates of HSV-2 infection and HBV exposure.

Results HIV prevalence was 0.3% (95% CI 0.1 to 0.6) and syphilis 4.5% (95% CI 3.6 to 5.4). Among those tested for HBV and HSV-2, 32.3% (95% CI 28.9 to 35.6) had serological evidence of exposure to HBV and 26.6% (95% CI 23.5 to 29.7) tested positive for HSV-2. Factors independently associated with HBV exposure included increasing age, Brazilian nationality and unprotected anal sex. Increasing age and reporting an unknown number of lifetime partners were associated with HSV-2 infection.

Conclusions In this sample of truck drivers in southern Brazil, HIV prevalence was lower than national population estimates; exposure to HBV was higher than population estimates, while per cent positive for HSV-2 was similar to population estimates. The low prevalence of HIV in truck drivers indicates prevention successes; however, future HIV prevention programming should incorporate HBV vaccination and sexually transmitted infection prevention.

  • Brazil
  • HIV
  • hepatitis B
  • herpes simplex virus 2
  • syphilis
  • truck drivers
  • AIDS
  • epidemiology (general)
  • prevention
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  • Funding This research was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Brazil under the terms of Award HRN-A-00-99-00010. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID. AAP received support from the University of California, San Francisco, International Traineeships in AIDS Prevention Studies program (R25MH064712). AAP and SAL received support from the Fogarty International AIDS Training Program (D43TW000003) at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Approval for the study was obtained from the Population Council's Institutional Review Board and from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects at the Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná (UNIOESTE), in Cascavel, Brazil.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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