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Research Article Open Access
Introduction: HSV -2 infections is widespread and mainly sexually transmitted. Infection with Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is life long and there is no cure. It is estimated that up to 20 million people are newly infected with HSV-2 each year. Most people, who have the infection, however are unaware that they are infected. Methodology: This work is therefore aimed at determining HSV-2 IgG status of the women used in the study serologically using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and the risk factors associated with acquiring the virus. Results: A total of 450 women were selected for the study and 370 of these women tested positive for IgG with a prevalence of 82.2%. Out of the three hospitals enrolled, subjects attending Gambo Sawabo General Hospital (GSGH) had the highest IgG prevalence of 98%, while the lowest prevalence was obtained in the subjects attending St. Luke’s Anglican Hospital Wusasa –Zaria (SLAH) with a prevalence of 61.3%. The variation in prevalence was statistically associated with HSV-2 infection (p=0.000). IgG antibodies increased with age, with the highest prevalence recorded amongst subjects 45 years and above. Higher prevalence of IgG was detected amongst women who had single partners (85%), while the lower prevalence was recorded amongst women who had multiple partners (68.8%). A significant association was observed to exist between pregnancy and HSV-2 infection (p=0.000). In relation to level of awareness of the infection, 101 (22.4%) of the women have heard about the infection while 349 (77.6%) were not aware. Symptoms such as fever, blisters/ulcers on genital area, painful urination were significantly associated with the infection while vaginal discharge was not. Conclusion: The findings in this study confirmed the presence of HSV-2 infection in Zaria metropolis, Kaduna state with seroprevalence comparable to rates reported in various towns and cities in Nigeria and other countries of the world. There is therefore the need for more public awareness/enlightenment to educate the general public especially women about the virus, the infection and how it can be prevented and controlled.