Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevalence among Women at Risk for HIV Exposure Initiating Safer Conception Care in Rural, Southwestern Uganda

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Background Knowledge of sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence and risk factors is important to the development of tenofovir-based preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and safer conception programming. We introduced STI screening among women at risk for HIV exposure who were participating in a safer conception study in southwestern Uganda. Methods We enrolled 131 HIV-uninfected women, planning for pregnancy with a partner living with HIV or of unknown HIV serostatus (2018-2019). Women were offered comprehensive safer conception counseling, including PrEP. Participants completed interviewer-administered questionnaires detailing sociodemographics and sexual history. We integrated laboratory screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis as a substudy to assess STI prevalence. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine correlates. Results Ninety-four women completed STI screening (72% of enrolled). Median age was 30 (interquartile range, 26-34) years, and 94% chose PrEP as part of safer conception care. Overall, 24% had STIs: 13% chlamydia, 2% gonorrhea, 6% trichomoniasis, 6% syphilis, and 3% ≥2 STI. Sexually transmitted infection prevalence was associated with younger age (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77-0.99), prior stillbirth (AOR, 5.04; 95% CI, 1.12-22.54), and not feeling vulnerable to HIV (AOR, 16.33; 95% CI, 1.12-237.94). Conclusions We describe a 24% curable STI prevalence among women at risk for HIV exposure who were planning for pregnancy. These data highlight the importance of integrating laboratory-based STI screening into safer conception programs to maximize the health of HIV-affected women, children, and families.


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