Send to

Choose Destination
J AIDS HIV Res. 2014 Oct;6(9):172-176. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Incidental Findings of Bacterial Vaginosis and Other Infections in Papanicolaou Smears of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Adolescent Females in South Africa.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester NY, United States.
Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a widely prevalent infection that is associated with a range of adverse outcomes. We compared the rates of incidentally identified BV and other cervico-vaginal infections on Papanicolaou (Pap) smears of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adolescent females in South Africa. Cervical specimens from 50 HIV-uninfected and 32 HIV-infected sexually active South African adolescent females age 17-21 were collected and analyzed in accordance with the Bethesda system. We found a high overall prevalence of BV (54.9%) in our cohort. While previous research has found an increased prevalence of BV among HIV-infected women, the difference in the prevalence of BV between our HIV-infected group (62.5%) and HIV-uninfected group (50.0%) was not found to be statistically significant. The high rate of BV in both of these groups has significant implications for their risk of HIV acquisition and/or transmission in addition to other associated risks of BV. Given that the Pap smear is specific in incidentally diagnosing BV, it may be utilized as a screening method for BV in the adolescent population.


HIV; Papanicolaou smear; South Africa; adolescents; bacterial vaginosis


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center