Medical News

Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Co-Infections in People Living With HIV/AIDS: Systematic Review With Implications for Using HIV Treatments for Prevention

August 1, 2011

Through local inflammatory processes, sexually transmitted co-infections increase the infectiousness of HIV. "The prevalence of STI among people living with HIV/AIDS has implications for containing the spread of HIV in general and the effectiveness of HIV treatments for prevention in particular," wrote the authors, who reported on a systematic review of such co-infections.


The study focused on STI acquisition after infection with HIV. Electronic database and manual searches identified 37 clinical and epidemiological studies of STIs that increase the infectiousness of HIV. Studies of adults with HIV/AIDS from developed and developing countries noted STI rates for 46 different samples (33 samples had clinical/laboratory-confirmed STI). Overall mean point-prevalence for confirmed STI was 16.3 percent (SD=16.4) and median 12.4 percent STI prevalence in people living with HIV/AIDS.

The most common STIs studied were syphilis (median 9.5 percent prevalence), gonorrhea (9.5 percent), chlamydia (5 percent), and trichomoniasis (18.8 percent).

"STI prevalence was greatest at the time of HIV diagnosis, reflecting the role of STI in HIV transmission," the authors wrote. "Prevalence of STI among individuals receiving HIV treatment was not appreciably different from untreated persons. The prevalence of STI in people infected with HIV suggests that STI co-infections could undermine efforts to use HIV treatments for prevention by increasing genital secretion infectiousness."

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Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
04.2011; Vol. 87: P. 183-190; Seth C. Kalichman; Jennifer Pellowski; Christina Turner

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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