To assess the relative importance of ulcerative and non-ulcerative sexually transmitted disease in the transmission of HIV, a seroprevalence study was conducted on 2210 patients at the sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic of the S. Maria e S. Gallicano Hospital in Rome, between 1989 and 1994. Among male patients, by univariate analysis, strong predictors of HIV infection were homosexuality, sexual exposure to a HIV-positive partner, hepatitis B virus infection, and positive syphilis serology. An increased risk was estimated for patients with past genital herpes (odds ratio (OR) 3.86, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.40-18.2), and primary syphilis (OR 5.79, 95% CI 0.59-28.6). By multivariate analysis, a positive association was found with homosexuality (OR 6.9, 95% CI 2.9-16.5), and positive syphilis serology (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.2). An adjusted OR of 2.41 was calculated for current and/or past genital herpes. These results, although not conclusive, suggest a role of ulcerative diseases as risk factors for prevalent HIV infection, and indicate that positive syphilis serology is an unbiased criterion for identifying individuals at increased risk of HIV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health