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Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2011;2011:842652. doi: 10.1155/2011/842652. Epub 2011 Dec 8.

Association between semen exposure and incident bacterial vaginosis.

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  • 1Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.


OBJECTIVE. To identify correlates of incident bacterial vaginosis (BV) diagnosed with Nugent scoring among high-risk women. STUDY DESIGN. We conducted both cohort and case-crossover analyses, stratified by HIV infection status, based on 871 HIV-infected and 439 HIV-uninfected participants in the HIV Epidemiology Research Study, conducted in 4 US sites in 1993-2000. RESULTS. BV incidence was 21% and 19% among HIV-infected and -uninfected women, respectively. Fewer correlates of BV were found with case-crossover than with cohort design. Reporting frequent coitus (regardless of consistency of condom use) was correlated with BV in cohort analyses but not in case-crossover analyses. The sole correlate of BV in both types of analyses was the detection of spermatozoa on Gram stain, which is a marker of semen exposure. CONCLUSION. The inconsistent association between condom use and BV in prior studies could be from reporting bias. We found evidence of a relationship between semen exposure and incident BV.

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