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Seroepidemiology of Trichomonas vaginalis in rural women in Zimbabwe and patterns of association with HIV infection

  • PETER R. MASON (a1) (a2), PIER LUIGI FIORI (a3), PIERO CAPPUCCINELLI (a3), PAOLA RAPPELLI (a3) and SIMON GREGSON (a1) (a4)...

Abstract

Serological assays using dried blood spots from 5221 women in rural areas of eastern Zimbabwe were used to assess the epidemiology of Trichomonas vaginalis infection, and its association with HIV. Antibodies to T. vaginalis and to HIV were detected by enzyme immunoassays. Behavioural and demographic data were collected by confidential questionnaires. In total, 516 (9·9%) women were seropositive for T. vaginalis and seroprevalence increased with age among younger women. Divorced, widowed and single women were more likely to be seropositive. After controlling for age, seropositivity was significantly associated with being sexually active, having multiple sex partners, having a partner who had multiple sex partners, and having a new sex partner in the past year. Seropositivity was associated with a recent history of genital discharge. Overall, 208 (40·3%) T. vaginalis-positive samples were also positive for HIV, compared with 1106 (23·5%) T. vaginalis-negative samples (age and sex adjusted OR 2·11, 95% CI 1·74–2·55, P<0·001). There was increased risk for being HIV-positive amongst T. vaginalis-seropositive women regardless of residence, employment or education. In a logistic regression controlling for common risk factors, the association remained significant. T. vaginalis-seropositive young women with a history of genital discharge were much more likely to be HIV-positive than women who were T. vaginalis-seronegative and had no history of discharge (OR 6·08, 95% CI 2·95–12·53). Although a causal relationship cannot be assumed, detection and treatment of trichomoniasis may be important in strategies to reduce HIV transmission through sexually transmitted infection control.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr P. R. Mason, Biomedical Research & Training Institute, PO Box MP 1446, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe. (Email: pmason@vet.uz.ac.zw)

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Seroepidemiology of Trichomonas vaginalis in rural women in Zimbabwe and patterns of association with HIV infection

  • PETER R. MASON (a1) (a2), PIER LUIGI FIORI (a3), PIERO CAPPUCCINELLI (a3), PAOLA RAPPELLI (a3) and SIMON GREGSON (a1) (a4)...

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