Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 Cervicovaginal Shedding Among Women Living With HIV-1 and Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy in Burkina Faso: An 8-Year Longitudinal Study
OBJECTIVES Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) are common sexually transmitted infections (STI). We assessed the cumulative risk of NG and CT in a cohort of HIV-1-infected high-risk women taking antiretrovirals over 4 years in Burkina Faso. METHODS Between March 2007 and February 2011, participants were followed every 3-6 months. At each visit, participants underwent a gynaecological examination with collection of cervical and vaginal swabs. Random-effects logistic regression models were used to analyse associations of NG and CT infection with behavioural and biological factors. RESULTS 172 women had samples tested for NG and CT during the study period, in a total of 1135 visits. NG was detected in 6.4% of women (11/172, 95% CI 2.7 to 10.1) at a rate of 2.76 cases (95% CI 1.53 to 4.99) per 100 person-years. CT was detected in 1.7% (3/172, 95% CI 0 to 3.7) of women at a rate of 0.75 cases (95% CI 0.24 to 2.34) per 100 person-years. The majority of women were asymptomatic (9/14). In the multivariable model, the presence of NG or CT was associated with tobacco use (aOR=11.85, 95% CI 1.13 to 124.17), and concurrent genital HIV-1 RNA shedding (aOR=4.78, 95% CI 1.17 to 19.46). Higher levels of education (aOR=0.17, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.92), and age greater than 35 years (aOR=0.07, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.92) were associated with lower odds of infection. CONCLUSIONS The risk of NG or CT infection remains low among high-risk women in Bobo-Dioulasso. This provides some evidence that antiretroviral use does not contribute to behavioural disinhibition. The asymptomatic nature of most infections underscores the need for regular screening and treatment of STIs in core groups.