STI prevalence among men living with HIV engaged in safer conception care in rural, southwestern Uganda

Academic Article


  • HIV care provides an opportunity to integrate comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare, including sexually transmitted infection (STI) management. We describe STI prevalence and correlates among men living with HIV (MLWH) accessing safer conception care to conceive a child with an HIV-uninfected partner while minimizing HIV transmission risks. This study reflects an ongoing safer conception program embedded within a regional referral hospital HIV clinic in southwestern Uganda. We enrolled MLWH, planning for pregnancy with an HIV-uninfected partner and accessing safer conception care. Participants completed interviewer-administered questionnaires detailing socio-demographics, gender dynamics, and sexual history. Participants also completed STI laboratory screening for syphilis (immunochromatographic testing confirmed by rapid plasma reagin), and chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and HIV-RNA via GeneXpert nucleic acid amplification testing. Bivariable associations of STI covariates were assessed using Fisher's exact test. Among the 50 men who completed STI screening, median age was 33 (IQR 31-37) years, 13/50 (26%) had ≥2 sexual partners in the prior three months, and 46/50 (92%) had HIVRNA <400 copies/mL. Overall, 11/50 (22%) had STIs: 16% active syphilis, 6% chlamydia. All participants initiated STI treatment. STI prevalence was associated with the use of threats/intimidation to coerce partners into sex (27% vs 3%; p = 0.03), although absolute numbers were small. We describe a 22% curable STI prevalence among a priority population at higher risk for transmission to partners and neonates. STI screening and treatment as a part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare should be integrated into HIV care to maximize the health of men, women, and children.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chitneni P; Bwana MB; Muyindike W; Owembabazi M; Kalyebara PK; Byamukama A; Mbalibulha Y; Smith PM; Hsu KK; Haberer JE
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 3 March