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Herpes simplex virus type 2 infection as a biomarker for sexual debut among young people in sub-Saharan Africa: a literature review

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JournalInternational journal of STD & AIDS
DatePublished - 2012
Issue number11
Volume23
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)761-6
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Biological markers are needed in order to provide objective measures to validate self-reported sexual behaviour and interpret prevention trial data. In this review, we evaluated herpes simplex type 2 virus (HSV-2), one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections in sub-Saharan Africa as a biological marker of sexual debut. Based on our findings, we do not recommend using HSV-2 as a biomarker for sexual debut due to its low transmission probabilities and the fact that HSV-2 prevalence is not 100% among potential sexual partners. We recommend that the validation of alternative biological measures should be prioritized, and included in future studies and trials of interventions to reduce sexual health risk.

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