Risk factors for HIV infection in people attending clinics for sexually transmitted diseases in India.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:To investigate the risk factors for HIV infection in patients attending clinics for sexually transmitted diseases in India. DESIGN:Descriptive study of HIV serology, risk behaviour, and findings on physical examination. SUBJECTS:2800 patients presenting to outpatient clinics between 13 May 1993 and 15 July 1994. SETTING:Two clinics and the National AIDS Research Institute, in Pune, Maharashtra State, India. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:HIV status, presence of sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual behaviour. RESULTS:The overall proportion of patients infected with HIV was 23.4% (655/2800); 34% (184) of the women and 21% (459) of the men were positive for HIV infection. Of the 560 women screened, 338 (60%) had a reported history of sex working, of whom 153 (45%) were infected with HIV-1. The prevalence of HIV-1 infection in the 222 women who were not sex workers was 14%. The significant independent characteristics associated with HIV infection based on a logistic regression analysis included being a female sex worker, sexual contact with a sex worker, lack of formal education, receptive anal sex in the previous three months, lack of condom use in the previous three months, current or previous genital ulcer or genital discharge, and a positive result of a Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test. CONCLUSIONS:In India the prevalence of HIV infection is alarmingly high among female sex workers and men attending clinics for sexually transmitted diseases, particularly in those who had recently had contact with sex workers. A high prevalence of HIV infection was also found in monogamous, married women presenting to the clinics who denied any history of sex working. The HIV epidemic in India is primarily due to heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 and, as in other countries, HIV infection is associated with ulcerative and non-ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases. :During May 1994-July 1995 in India, health workers at two clinics for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Pune provided HIV serological screening and a physical examination to 2800 patients who completed a questionnaire, so that researchers could identify risk factors for HIV-1 infection in this high-risk population. 60% of the female STD patients were sex workers. 90% of the men had contact with a sex worker within the last 3 months. 14% of all STD patients were women who were not sex workers. 82% of these were married and monogamous. 13% of the married and monogamous women tested positive for HIV-1. Overall, 23.4% of all STD patients tested positive for HIV-1. Only 24% of all STD patients had used condoms during the last 3 months. The leading clinical diagnosis was chancroid (33% for men and 20% for women). The logistic regression analysis showed that the risk factors for HIV-1 infection were: being a sex worker (odds ratio [OR] = 3.7; p 0.001), contact with a sex worker (OR = 1.71; p = 0.01), receptive anal sex (OR = 3.52; p 0.001), tattooed after 1985 (OR = 1.31; p = 0.01), current or previous genital ulcer (OR = 1.29; p = 0.01), and a positive result of a Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test (OR = 1.33; p = 0.01). Protective factors were some formal education (OR = 0.76; p = 0.02), and condom use (sometimes/always, OR = 0.75; p = 0.03). These findings indicate a need for comprehensive and national STD services in India to control STDs and a health education campaign on HIV/AIDS to reduce high risk behavior.

journal_name

BMJ

authors

Rodrigues JJ,Mehendale SM,Shepherd ME,Divekar AD,Gangakhedkar RR,Quinn TC,Paranjape RS,Risbud AR,Brookmeyer RS,Gadkari DA

doi

10.1136/bmj.311.7000.283

keywords:

["Asia","Behavior","Biology","Currently Married--women","Developing Countries","Diseases","Examinations And Diagnoses","Hiv Infections","Hiv Serodiagnosis","India","Infections","Laboratory Examinations And Diagnoses","Marital Status","Measurement","Nuptiality","Prevalence","Prostitutes","Reproductive Tract Infections","Research Methodology","Research Report","Risk Factors","Sex Behavior","Sexually Transmitted Diseases","Southern Asia","Viral Diseases"]

subject

Has Abstract,Author List Incomplete

pub_date

1995-07-29 00:00:00

pages

283-6

issue

7000

eissn

0959-8138

issn

1756-1833

journal_volume

311

pub_type

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