Behavioral, Psychological, Gender, and Health Service Correlates to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection among Young Adult Mexican-American Women Living in a Disadvantaged Community

Kathryn Nowotny, Jessica Frankeberger, Victoria E. Rodriguez, Avelardo Valdez, Alice Cepeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is among the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Despite this, there has been limited research on the correlates to HSV-2 among disadvantaged and marginalized women, particularly among Latinas. Data for the present analysis include 125 young adult Mexican-American women enrolled in a longitudinal study in a disadvantaged urban community in San Antonio, Texas. The current rate of tested HSV-2 infection is 56.8%. Our findings suggest strong comorbidity of genital herpes with injecting heroin use, Hepatitis C, sexual violence, incarceration, and mental illness. Contributing to this population's nexus of risk are the low rates of health service utilization among those infected with HSV-2. Integration between behavioral health and primary care, including access to preventative services, are essential for improving the health of Latinas living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - May 3 2018



  • drug use
  • health service utilization
  • HSV-2
  • IDU
  • IPV
  • mental health
  • Mexican Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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