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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

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester NY, United States.
2
Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

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

PMID:
26609464
PMCID:
PMC4655602

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