Association between bacterial vaginosis and partner concurrency: a longitudinal study

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Abstract

Objectives

The study aimed to test if there was an association between prevalent bacterial vaginosis (BV) and women reporting that their partner had other partners at the same time (partner concurrency). This association has not been assessed in a longitudinal cohort.

Methods

The Longitudinal Study of Vaginal Flora recruited a cohort of 3620 non-pregnant women aged 15–44 years who presented for routine primary healthcare at 12 clinics in Birmingham, Alabama. Behavioural questionnaires and vaginal smears were obtained quarterly for a year and BV was defined by a Nugent score 7 or higher as well as Amsel criteria. Mixed effects logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between prevalent BV and reporting that one's partner had other partners in the preceding 3–6 months time interval.

Results

Nugent score prevalent BV was associated with both reporting that one's partner definitely (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.8) and possibly (aOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.8) engaged in partner concurrency in the preceding 3–6 months time period. Prevalent BV diagnosed by Amsel criteria was similar.

Conclusions

A diagnosis of prevalent BV was associated with reporting that one's partner possibly or definitely engaged in partner concurrency.

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