Background Age, gender, sexual history, marital status, education, socioeconomic status and geographic location are known risk factors of Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seroprevalence. There is a paucity of data on the potential association between increasing age difference between sex partners and HSV-2 infection. This study investigated the relationship between increasing age difference between sex partners and HSV-2 infection in Mysore, India, due to a lack of studies documenting this phenomenon in HSV-2 seropositive individuals in India.
Methods This study presents one section of a larger comparative study conducted between October 2016 and July 2017 in collaboration with the Public Health Research Institute of India, that assessed drug use and risky sexual behavior among adults in Mysore, India. Study personnel conducted structured interviews with men and women to assess demographic variables, reproductive health, risky sexual behavior and relationship history. ELISA testing (Focus Diagnostics HerpeSelect® 2 ELISA IgG, Focus Technologies, Cypress, CA) was used to determine the presence of HSV-2 antibodies.
Results There were 351 participants included in the study. The prevalence of HSV-2 in this sample was 9.4% (95%CI: 6.3%, 12.5%). HSV-2 infection was correlated with partner age difference and religio. The odds of HSV-2 infection significantly increased among the study participants with an increase in the age difference with their sex partner (OR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.40). The odds of HSV-2 infection was significantly lower among Hindus as compared to non-Hindus (OR: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.84). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of HSV-2 infection by sex, education, or occupation.
Conclusion HSV-2 seroprevalence was relatively low in this population compared to regional and global rates. HSV-2 seropositivity was associated with an increasing partner age difference. This highlights the need for further research in this area in different Indian settings to determine what the dynamics of this phenomenon.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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