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AIDS. 2012 Mar 13;26(5):617-24. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834ff690.

The association between Mycoplasma genitalium and HIV-1 acquisition in African women.

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Women's Global Health Imperative, RTI International, San Francisco, California 94104, USA.



Mycoplasma genitalium is an emerging sexually transmitted infection (STI) and has been associated with reproductive tract infections and HIV in cross-sectional studies. In this longitudinal study, we assess whether M. genitalium is associated with risk of acquiring HIV-1 infection.


Nested case-control study within a large prospective study in Zimbabwe and Uganda


A total of 190 women who seroconverted to HIV-1 during follow-up (cases) were matched with up to two HIV-negative controls. Mycoplasma genitalium testing was performed by PCR-ELISA, using archived cervical samples from the HIV-1 detection visit and the last HIV-negative visit for cases, and equivalent visits in follow-up time for controls. Risk factors for HIV-1 acquisition were analyzed using conditional logistic regression, with M. genitalium as the primary exposure.


Mycoplasma genitalium was a common infection in these populations (14.8 and 6.5% prevalence among cases and controls, respectively, at the visit prior to HIV-1 detection), and more prevalent than other nonviral STIs. We found a greater than two-fold independent increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition among women infected with M. genitalium at the visit prior to HIV-1 acquisition [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.42; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-5.80), and at time of HIV-1 acquisition (AOR = 2.18; 95% CI 0.98-4.85). An estimated 8.7% (95% CI 0.1-12.2%) of incident HIV-1 infections were attributable to M. genitalium.


This is the first longitudinal study to assess the relationship between M. genitalium and HIV-1 acquisition. If findings from this research are confirmed, M. genitalium screening and treatment among women at high risk for HIV-1 infection may be warranted as part of an HIV-1 prevention strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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