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Open Access Research article

Sexually transmitted infections among patients with herpes simplex virus at King Abdulaziz University Hospital

Wafa M K Fageeh

Author Affiliations

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:301  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-301

Published: 31 July 2013



Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is one of the commonest viral sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of STIs among HSV positive patients at a tertiary hospital in Jeddah. Secondary objective of the study included the description of the demographic and clinical profile of patients with HSV and HIV co-infection.


A retrospective chart review of the medical records was performed for HSV positive women who presented to the emergency room and outpatient department of King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between January 1, 2003 and August 30, 2011. Data were collected from the medical records of all the patients and analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.


Three hundred forty-three HSV positive patients were included in this study. Co-infection with HIV was documented in 45 patients (13.1%). Other STIs included chlamydia (n = 43, 12.5%), gonorrhea (n = 44, 12.8%), hepatitis B infection (n = 8, 2.3%), and cytomegalovirus infection (n = 37, 10.8%). Nineteen patients (5.5%) had a total of 47 term pregnancies and five abortions post HSV diagnosis. Genital ulcer disease was diagnosed in 11 (57.9%) of the cases during labor. One newborn developed neonatal herpes infection and subsequently showed delayed psychomotor development during follow up. Genital herpes was diagnosed in one patient’s partner; however, there was no documentation of screening for STIs in the partners of the other patients.


Sexually transmitted infections are relatively common among HSV positive patients at King Abdulaziz University Hospital. Amongst these, HIV is the most common, with a prevalence of 13.1%. Further studies are warranted to evaluate STIs in Saudi Arabia. Health policy makers should adopt a protocol to screen for STIs in the partners of persons who are positive for any STI as early detection and appropriate treatment can improve the outcome.

Herpes simplex virus; HIV; Pregnancy; Fetal outcome; Sexually transmitted infections