Serum and cervical secretions were collected from patients with cervical dysplasia, carcinoma-in-situ (CIS), squamous cell carcinoma (cervical SCC), and controls with normal cervices, attending clinics within the West Lambeth Health District, London. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to examine cervical secretory IgA (sIgA) and serum IgG and IgA antibodies to herpes simplex virus (HSV). Sexual and demographic factors were considered during data analysis, which involved fitting multiple linear or multiple logistic regressions to HSV antibody levels. Prevalence of sIgA-HSV and levels of serum antibodies to HSV in all groups were compared with those of gynaecology controls. Caucasian women with mild dysplasia had a significantly higher prevalence of sIgA-HSV. Serum IgG levels to HSV (IgG-HSV) were significantly elevated in women with mild dysplasia and severe dysplasia/ClS. Serum IgA levels to HSV1 (IgG-HSV1) were significantly higher in women with cervical SCC (after adjusting for smoking habits) and other genital tumours. Significantly higher levels of serum IgA to HSV2 (IgA-HSV2) were also found among Caucasian women with cervical SCC. The possible role of HSV as a co-factor in cervical carcinogenesis is discussed.