HIV-1 DNA Shedding in Genital Ulcers and Its Associated Risk Factors in Pune, India

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HIV infection status was determined in 302 consecutive patients with genital ulcer disease (GUD) presenting to two sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics in Pune, India. Of the 71 (24%) individuals with HIV infection, 67 (94%) were HIV antibody-positive, and 4 (6%) were HIV antibody-negative but p24 antigenpositive at the time of presentation. HIV-1 DNA was detected in 24 (34%) specimens. The genital ulcers of all four acutely infected p24-antigenemic subjects were HIV-1 DNA-positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, compared with 20 of 67 (30%) seropositive patients (p = .01). Presence of chancroid, GUD symptoms for > 10 days, and concurrent diagnosis of cervicitis or urethritis were significantly associated risk factors for HIV-1 DNA shedding in ulcers. Early GUD diagnosis and aggressive treatment of HIV-infected patients may significantly reduce secondary transmission of HIV to other sex partners.

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