Bacterial STD Linked to Increased Risk of HIV
Emerging' Infection Could Be Important Risk Factor for HIV Infection in Women
Newswise - Philadelphia, Pa. (March 8, 2012) - A common sexually transmitted bacterial infection more than doubles the risk of HIV infection in African women, reports a study in the March issue of AIDS . The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins , a part of Wolters Kluwer Health .
Infection with M. genitalium May Double Women's HIV Risk
Data from a larger study of HIV acquisition among young women in Zimbabwe and Uganda were used to assess the effects of M. genitalium on HIV risk. First discovered in 1980, M. genitalium is a bacterial STD that causes inflammatory conditions of the reproductive tract (urethritis, cervicitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease). The infection-which may be present for years without causing any symptoms-can be eliminated with appropriate antibiotics.
In initial samples-when all women were HIV-free-infection with M. genitalium was present in about 15 percent of women who later developed HIV versus 6.5 percent in women who remained HIV-free. Mycoplasma genitalium was more frequent than other bacterial STDs, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
After adjustment for other factors, women who initially had M. genitalium were more than twice as likely to become infected with HIV. Certain other STDs were also risk factors for HIV.
The researchers estimated that about nine percent of all HIV infections occurring in the study were attributable to M. genitalium. However, other factors were more strongly associated with HIV risk-especially the presence of herpes simplex virus-2 (the virus that causes genital herpes) and having a partner with HIV risk factors
"M. genitalium may be an important, modifiable risk factor for HIV-1 acquisition among women in Zimbabwe and Uganda," Dr Napierala Mavedzenge and coauthors write. The inflammation caused by this sexually transmitted infection may increase susceptibility to HIV infection. If so, then identifying and treating women infected with M. genitalium might help to reduce the risk of HIV. Because the infection can remain asymptomatic for a long time, screening for M. genitalium would be an important part of any such strategy.
The study provides "compelling" evidence that M. genitalium is involved in HIV acquisition, according to an accompanying editorial by Lisa E. Manhart, PhD, of the University of Washington, Seattle. However, she believes that screening and treatment for M. genitalium would be "an extremely difficult and costly undertaking, and more evidence demonstrating that this intervention significantly reduces HIV-1 incidence is needed before we consider the costs and benefits of implementing such a program." Dr Manhart adds, "Our HIV prevention resources should be focused on implementing those proven interventions that together will have the largest impact."
AIDS publishes the very latest ground-breaking research on HIV and AIDS. Read by all the top clinicians and researchers, AIDS has the highest impact of all AIDS-related journals. With 18 issues per year, AIDS guarantees the authoritative presentation of even more significant advances. The Editors, themselves noted international experts who know the demands of HIV/AIDS research, are committed to making AIDS the most distinguished and innovative journal in the field. Visit the journal website at www.aidsonline.com .
About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) is a leading international publisher for health care professionals and students with nearly 300 periodicals and 1,500 books in more than 100 disciplines publishing under the LWW brand, as well as content-based sites and online corporate and customer services.
LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health , a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the health care industry. Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer , a market-leading global information services company with 2010 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion).