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Background: Herpes simplex virus infection is a global health concern with disproportionately high burden in low and middle-income countries. There is a paucity of data on the prevalence of HSV infection in Ghana, which necessitated the present study. The aim of the study was to provide up-to-date data on sero-prevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection among women attending Cervicare clinics in Ghana. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which 380 women attending routine Cervicare clinics at Regional Hospitals in Kumasi and Accra, Ghana were enrolled into the study. Serum HSV-1 IgG and HSV-2 IgG were determined by ELISA method. The Chi-square test was used to investigate the association between sero-prevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 and socio-demographic and behavioral factors using the Statistical Package for the Social Scientists (SPSS) version 22. Statistical significance was accepted at p<0.05. Results: The overall HSV-1 and HSV-2 sero-prevalence estimates were 99.2% (95% CI: 98.0-100%) and 78.4% (95% CI: 74.5-81.8%) respectively. The study observed 78.2% cross-positive prevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 among the studied participants. There was no association between the presence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection and age (χ 2 =2.351, p=0.799 and χ 2 =1.655, p=0.895 respectively). Our findings however, revealed association between the prevalence of HSV-2 and the age at coitarche (p=0.021) as well as with number of sexual partners (p=0.022). Conclusions: The sero-prevalence estimates of HSV-1 and HSV-2 among the study population of women in Ghana were found to be high. This high prevalence could be attributed to high endemicity and inadequate intervention in this population. There is the need to raise awareness through organized public health screening and education to ensure control.
Debrah, O., Agyemang-Yeboah, F., Asmah, R. H., Timmy-Donkoh, E., Seini, M. M., Fondjo, L. A., … Owusu-Dabo, E. (2018). SERO-prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 among women attending routine Cervicare clinics in Ghana. BMC Infectious Diseases, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3288-1