Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevalence in Women with HIV: Is There a Role for Targeted Screening?

Academic Article


  • Background Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are highest in the southern United States but vary widely by sex, age, and risk behavior. Current guidelines recommend annual screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis in all sexually active women with HIV. Methods Screening rates and test positivity for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis were determined per calendar year in this retrospective cohort study of women in care at an urban HIV clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, from 2013 to 2015. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas infections were detected by molecular diagnostics and syphilis by serology. A combined end point for chlamydia/gonorrhea/syphilis (STI-3) was created based on similar test positivity and predictors. Predictors of STI-3 were identified using logistic regression and generalized estimating equations. Results Among 745 women with HIV, median age was 46.8 years, 78.8% were black, and 61% were sexually active. In 2015, 83.7% of women were tested for STI. Test positivity was 1.0% for chlamydia, 0.5% for gonorrhea, 1.6% for syphilis, and 13.3% for trichomoniasis. Independent predictors of STI-3 were recent chlamydia or gonorrhea (odds ratio [OR], 3.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1-13.4; P = 0.047), public insurance compared with private (OR, 3.5; CI, 1-11.8; P = 0.048), and sex after drugs/alcohol (OR, 3.0; CI, 1.2-8.0; P = 0.025). Women 50 years or older were less likely to have STI (OR, 0.3; CI, 0.1-1; P = 0.040). Conclusions In a cohort of women engaged in HIV care in the southern United States, detection of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis was infrequent but trichomoniasis was common. Many women screened for STI were low risk and universal testing strategies warrant evaluation.
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    Author List

  • Dionne-Odom J; Westfall AO; Van Der Pol B; Fry K; Marrazzo J
  • Start Page

  • 762
  • End Page

  • 769
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 11