Objectives: To document the natural history of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in relation to HIV and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in Africa, a longitudinal study was conducted of women in the placebo arms of two randomised controlled trials of HSV-suppressive therapy in Burkina Faso. Methods: 22 HIV-uninfected women (group 1), 30 HIV-1-infected women taking HAART (group 2), and 68 HIV-1-infected women not eligible for HAART (group 3) were followed over 24 weeks. HSV-2 DNA was detected on alternate weeks using real-time PCR from cervicovaginal lavages. Plasma HIV-1 RNA was measured every month. CD4 cell counts were measured at enrolment. Results: Ulcers occurred on 1.9%, 3.1% and 7.2% of visits in groups 1, 2 and 3 (p = 0.02). Cervicovaginal HSV-2 DNA was detected in 45.5%, 63.3% and 67.6% of women (p = 0.11), and on 4.3%, 9.7% and 15.5% of visits in the three groups (p
Sexually Transmitted Infections (2008) 84 (5) pp. 332-337 [doi:10.1136/sti.2008.030692].