To determine the relative risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) seroconversion in patients with and without genital ulcers caused by chancroid, syphilis, and herpes.Design
A prospective cohort study.Setting
An inner-city, sexually transmitted disease clinic.Patients
Patients seronegative for HIV-1 with and without genital ulcers who were followed for a minimum of 3 months.Interventions
Questionnaire to obtain data on demographics, sexual behavior, and illicit drug use; testing for HIV-1 at entry and at a minimum of 3 months after entry; medical examination for the presence or absence of genital ulcer disease.Results
Overall, 758 heterosexual men with no history of injection drug use completed the study; HIV-1 seroconversion occurred in 10 of 344 (2.9%; 95% CI, 1.4% to 5.3%) men with a genital ulcer and in 4 of 414 (1%; CI, 0.2% to 2.5%) without a genital ulcer (relative risk, 3.0; P = 0.05). In a multiple logistic regression analysis, those men with chancroid and a new sexually transmitted disease during follow-up each had about three times the risk for HIV-1 seroconversion (P <= 0.04).Conclusions
In this group of heterosexual men, chancroid and repeated acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases appeared to facilitate the sexual transmission of HIV-1.