Molecular diagnosis of genital tract infections among HIV-positive women in Iran
AbstractBackground and Objectives: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women are usually at a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than others. The objective of this study was to characterize the prevalence of human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), and associated risk factors among HIV-infected women in Fars province, Iran. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, cervical swab samples were collected from 71 HIV-infected women, aged 17-45 years (mean ± standard deviation: 31.11 ± 6.58 years), and tested for HPV, HSV, CT, and NG using PCR assays. Results: Overall, 77.5% of patients were positive for the tested STIs with the following distribution: 36 (50.7%) HPV, 7 (9.9%) HSV, 4 (5.6%) NG, and 27 (38%) CT. From those, 39 (55%) were positive for only one infection, while 16 (22.5%) were positive for multiple infections. We observed that the prevalence of all tested STIs increased by age, except for HSV which showed a slight decrease, although not statistically significant. Socio-economic factors such as low educational level, multiple sex partners, and being a sex worker significantly correlated with higher positive prevalence of STIs in the studied population. Conclusion: A high prevalence of STIs was observed among HIV-infected women in this region. These data might prompt policy makers and STI experts to focus on providing a comprehensive sex education, including participation in screening programs for STIs among high-risk groups.
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