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Objective: To determine the prevalence of infection with herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) among women with and at high risk for HIV infection, and to evaluate the effect of HAART on the recurrence of genital lesions.

Methods: We evaluated the epidemiology and clinical manifestations associated with HSV-1 and HSV-2 among 1796 HIV-infected and 476 HIV-uninfected women enrolled in a multisite cohort study. Serum antibodies to HSV-1 and HSV-2 at baseline and self-reported history of genital herpes, reports of recent genital sores and presence of genital ulcers on examination, and use of HAART regimen at each study visit were analyzed.

Results: Reactivity to HSV-1 only and HSV-2 only was detected in 18% and 20% of HIV-infected, and in 28% and 18% of HIV-uninfected participants respectively; 58% of HIV-infected women and 45% of HIV-uninfected women were seropositive for both HSV types. Reactivity to HSV-2 was associated with increasing age, more male sexual partners, earlier sexual debut, African-American race, Latina ethnicity, less education and lower income. HIV-uninfected women reported significantly fewer genital sores than HIV-infected women who had used HAART for at least 1 year and had optimal CD4 cell gain and viral suppression (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 0.19; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.13-0.28).

Conclusion: Use of HAART and subsequent immune recovery does not completely eliminate the effect of HIV infection on genital lesions among women with concurrent HSV-2 infection.

(C) 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.