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Acta Derm Venereol. 1996 Mar;76(2):147-9.

Sexually transmitted diseases and risk of HIV infection.

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Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, University of Milan, Italy.


We have analyzed the association between sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV infection, using data from a cross-sectional survey of subjects attending STD clinics in Northern Italy conducted since 1988. A total of 1,711 subjects (1,259 males, 452 females), who had referred themselves to three STD clinics in Northern Italy for suspected STD or STD treatment, were included for the study. Out of these, 145 subjects (113 males and 32 females) were HIV-positive. A total of 58 HIV-positive and 368 HIV-negative subjects reported a history of STD; the corresponding odds ratio (OR) was 2.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5-3.6) for subjects reporting a history of STD. Considering various STD in details, the estimated OR was 1.8 (95% CI 0.8-3.8) for a history of gonorrhoea and 1.5 (95% CI 0.8-2.7) of syphilis, and the OR was 1.8 (95% CI 1.0-3.2) and 2.2 (95% CI 1.3-3.8), respectively, for a positive TPHA and VDRL test. The results of the test for HbsAg were available in 50 HIV-positive and 1,028 HIV-negative subjects; the OR of HIV infection in subjects with HbSAg was 3.9 (95% CI 1.7-9.0). Presence of genital ulcers at clinical examination was not significantly associated with the risk of HIV infection (OR yes vs no genital ulcers 1.5, 95% CI 0.6-2.8).

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