The efficiency of male-to-female and female-to-male sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus: A study of 730 stable couples

Alfredo Nicolosi, Maria Léa Corrêa Leite, Massimo Musicco, Claudio Arid, Giovanna Gavazzeni, Adriano Lazzarin, Gioacchino Angarano, Claudio Arici, Maria Léa Corrêa Leite, Paolo Costigliola, Sergio Gafa, Maddalena Gasparini, Giovanna Gavazzeni, Cristina Gervasoni, Adriano Lazzarin, Roberto Luzzati, Giacomo Magnani, Mauro Moroni, Massimo Musicco, Alfredo NicolosiRaffaele Pristerà, Francesco Puppo, Bernardino Salassa, Alberto Saracco, Alessandro Sinicco, Roberto Stellini, Umberto Tirelli, Giuseppe Turbessif, Gian Marco Vigevani, Roberto Zerboni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To compare the efficiency of male-to-female and female-to-male sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we studied 524 female partners of HIV-infected men and 206 male partners of HIV-infected women in 16 Italian clinical centers. All of the partners had had a sexual relationship with the index case lasting for at least 6 months and presented no other risk factor than sexual exposure to the HIV-infected partner. Among the 730 couples, 24% of the female partners were HIV positive, in comparison with 10% of the male partners. Using logistic regression analysis, including gender and controlling for condom use, frequency of intercourse, anal sex, partner’s CD4+ cell count and clinical stage, sexually transmitted diseases, genital infections, and contraceptive use, we found that the efficiency of male-to-female transmission was 2.3 (95% confidence interval = 1.1–4 8) times greater than that of female-to-male transmission. Between-gender differences in the contact surfaces and the intensity of exposure to HIV during sexual intercourse are possible reasons for the difference in efficiency of transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-575
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiology
Volume5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • Contraception
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Interaction
  • Risk factors
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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