Tropical Journal of Health Sciences

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Seroprevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 among female sex workers in Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

C.O.O. Chukwu, R.C. Reuben, R.C. Opara, I.D. Chukwu, R.I. Akintola


Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) has public health importance as a leading cause of genital ulcers, which also facilitate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition and transmission by over two-fold or more. This study sought to determine the seroprevalence of HSV-2, and to evaluate the relationship between HSV-2 infection and sociodemographic factors of female sex workers (FSWs) in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nigeria.

This cross-sectional study involved 200 FSWs and was carried out with structured questionnaires for sociodemographic and behavioral information and laboratory tests for HSV-2 IgG antibodies using HerpeSelect ELISA.

Overall HSV-2 seroprevalence was 37.5%, with higher prevalence of 42.4% and 40.3 % among FSWs in Garki II and Wuse II while those residing in Brothel/Hotel also had the highest seroprevalence of 40.0%. There was no significance difference (P>0.05) in the prevalence of HVS-2 with respect to location and place of residence. With regards to the level of education and marital status, FSWs who cannot read and write, and those that are Single/cohabit had the highest prevalence of 76.5% and 39.6% respectively. HSV-2 seroprevalence increased with age, duration in commercial sex work, number of clients and non-usage of condom.

With the influx of FSWs in the study area and increasing evidence that HSV-2 infection has a synergistic activity on acquiring HIV infection, targeted public health awareness campaigns and good health–seeking behavior on noticing genital rashes, urethral discharges, and vaginal discharges are recommended among the studied population.

Keywords: Herpes Simplex Virus type 2, Female Sex Worker, seroprevalence, condom, Nigeria

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