Although studies have been undertaken in the past to show the link between sexually transmitted infections and susceptibility to HIV, the study published in the March 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online, is one of the first to demonstrate a statistically significant association between trichomoniasis and HIV infection.
Trichomoniasis, caused by the parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis infects more than 170 million people worldwide each year. On its own, it usually does not cause serious complications. Some men may experience a mild burning sensation or discharge. Some women may have a frothy, strong-smelling yellow green discharge, and may feel discomfort during intercourse and urination, as well as itching of the genital area. Lower abdominal pain occurs in rare cases.
The study, conducted by R. Scott McClelland, MD, MPH, and colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle, the University of Nairobi, and the Coast Provincial General Hospital in Kenya, followed 1,335 HIV-seronegative women over the span of 11 years. Because infection with T. vaginalis is common, even a modest increase in vulnerability to HIV acquisition as a result could mean a substantial attributable risk for HIV infection overall. According to McClelland, "the modest increase in risk makes it important that studies are either very large or of long duration in order to demonstrate such an effect."
Their results showed a 1.5-fold increased risk of HIV infection among women with trichomoniasis. "What this means is that a woman with trichomoniasis is at about fifty percent greater risk for acquiring HIV than a woman without trichomoniasis, after adjusting for other differences between the women such as differences in the rates of condom use, number of sex partners, etc." said McClelland.
The study pointed to several reasons why vaginal trichomoniasis could possibly lead to an increased risk of HIV acquisition. Trichomoniasis can cause tiny areas of bleeding within mucous membranes that could provide a physical pathway for HIV infection. Also, the study noted, the T. vaginalis parasite has been shown to break down an enzyme that blocks HIV attachment to cells.
The findings from this study provide support for prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases such as trichomoniasis as important strategies for preventing HIV infection. As a next step, McClelland suggested that "comprehensive strategies for reducing vaginal infections and addressing potentially harmful intravaginal practices such as douching, washing, or placing traditional substances in the vagina should be developed and evaluated in clinical trials as possible female-controlled HIV prevention interventions."
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy