WCM-Q Researchers Find Herpes Virus Levels Falling In Asia

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(MENAFN – The Peninsula) Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) have found that more than one in 10 people in Asia is infected with the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), but the prevalence is falling by 2% per year.
The study was conducted by the Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDEG) Group of WCM-Q and the WHO Collaborating Center for the Analysis of Disease Epidemiology on HIV / AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections. to achieve one of the goals of the WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Sexually Transmitted Infections. . The study provided the first detailed characterization of the epidemiology of HSV-2 in Asia, including the WHO regions of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Writing in the prestigious Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific journal, researchers said the virus was more common in women than in men.
Sawsan AlMukdad, co-lead author of the study and WCM-Q researcher, said: “We have applied state-of-the-art methodologies to assess the epidemiology of HSV-2 in Asia. We have found that about one in 10 (12%) people are infected with HSV-2 in Asia, but the prevalence is declining by 2% per year. The prevalence has gradually increased from 5% among those under 20 to 27% among those over 60, but women have a 70% higher prevalence rate than men.
HSV-2 infection is a sexually transmitted infection that is widespread around the world, which can cause irritation and ulcers in the pelvic area. It is also linked to an increased risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV.
Manale Harfouche, study co-lead author and WCM-Q principal investigator, said: “HSV-2 infection was found to be the cause of 48% of patients with ulcers in the pelvic region and 76% of herpes cases, highlighting the disease burden caused by this infection in Asia. Our results fill a gap in our understanding of HSV-2 infection in the global context and provide information on its epidemiology in this region with implications for global epidemiology.
Dr Laith Abu-Raddad, principal investigator of the study and professor of population health sciences at WCM-Q, said: “ In the context of the lack of public health programs to prevent and control the transmission of HSV-2, this infection is widespread, with serious consequences for the disease. There is a need to expand and expand research and surveillance for HSV-2, and to accelerate ongoing efforts to develop vaccines against HSV-2. ”
The study, entitled “Epidemiology of herpes simplex virus type 2 in Asia: A systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression”, was conducted with funding from the Qatar National Research Fund through the National Priorities Research Program ( NPRP 9-040-3-008) and pilot funding from the biomedical research program of Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar.

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