Gynaecological conditions associated with HIV infection in women who are partners of HIV-positive Thai blood donors

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Women who were partners of HIV-positive blood donors were enrolled in a study of heterosexual HIV transmission between March 1992 and December 1996 and were interviewed and examined. Gynaecological conditions, including cervical dysplasia, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, gonorrhoea, chlamydial infection, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, vaginal candidiasis and syphilis were assessed in addition to HIV status and CD4 level. Of 481 women enrolled, 224 (46.6%) were HIV seropositive. HIV-infected women were more likely to have abnormal vaginal discharge on physical examination (OR=2.6, P < 0.01), HPV infection with a high-risk type (OR=6.9, P < 0.01), and cervical dysplasia (OR=5.3, P < 0.01). The prevalence of other gynaecological conditions detected at the enrolment visit did not differ by HIV status. History of prior STD (OR=2.0, P < 0.01) was more common among HIV-infected women. The median CD4 count was 400 cells/μl among HIV-infected women. The prevalence of abnormal vaginal discharge and bacterial vaginosis increased significantly with decreasing CD4 count. The prevalence of ectopy, vaginal candidiasis, and cervical dysplasia increased with decreasing CD4 count, but these trends were not significant. We conclude that HIV-infected Thai women appear to have increased prevalences of abnormal vaginal discharge, squamous intraepithelial lesions and self-reported history of STD.

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