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J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care (Chic). 2011 Nov-Dec;10(6):365-72. doi: 10.1177/1545109711418120. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

The Achilles' Heel of HIV Treatment for Prevention: History of Sexually Transmitted Coinfections among People Living with HIV/AIDS Receiving Antiretroviral Therapies.

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  • 11Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.



Antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) offer promising new avenues for HIV prevention. Unfortunately, people infected with HIV who have co-occurring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more infectious than suggested by the amount of virus in their peripheral blood. We examined the history of sexually transmitted coinfections in people living with HIV.


People living with HIV/AIDS completed confidential computerized interviews that assessed history of STI, sexual behaviors, and STI knowledge.


Among 414 men and 156 women currently receiving ART, 53% had been diagnosed with at least 1 STI since testing HIV positive; 24% women, 19% men, and 11% transgender persons had been diagnosed with an STI in the past year. History of STI was associated with younger age, greater STI knowledge, substance use, and ART nonadherence.


Aggressive strategies for detecting and treating STI in people receiving ART will be necessary to achieve protective benefits.

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