Concept: Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
Cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) can provide a barrier that precludes HIV and other sexually transmitted virions from reaching target cells in the vaginal epithelium, thereby preventing or reducing infections. However, the barrier properties of CVM differ from woman to woman, and the causes of these variations are not yet well understood. Using high-resolution particle tracking of fluorescent HIV-1 pseudoviruses, we found that neither pH nor Nugent scores nor total lactic acid levels correlated significantly with virus trapping in unmodified CVM from diverse donors. Surprisingly, HIV-1 was generally trapped in CVM with relatively high concentrations of d-lactic acid and a Lactobacillus crispatus-dominant microbiota. In contrast, a substantial fraction of HIV-1 virions diffused rapidly through CVM with low concentrations of d-lactic acid that had a Lactobacillus iners-dominant microbiota or significant amounts of Gardnerella vaginalis, a bacterium associated with bacterial vaginosis. Our results demonstrate that the vaginal microbiota, including specific species of Lactobacillus, can alter the diffusional barrier properties of CVM against HIV and likely other sexually transmitted viruses and that these microbiota-associated changes may account in part for the elevated risks of HIV acquisition linked to bacterial vaginosis or intermediate vaginal microbiota.
OBJECTIVE: To discuss the epidemiology of Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and HIV co-infections, the role of TV in acquisition and transmission of HIV, special treatment considerations for TV among women with HIV and the prevention of TV among HIV-infected persons. DESIGN: Systematic review. DATA SOURCE: Review of literature of EMBASE and PubMed databases from January 1990 to February 2013. Search keywords included TV, HIV co-infections, HIV acquisition, HIV transmission, HIV shedding, TV treatment, HIV and couples studies. REVIEW METHOD: We included studies of any design that contained the selected search words and were published during the specified time frame. We then searched the reference lists of included papers for additional papers and included these when relevant. RESULTS: There is strong evidence that TV increases both transmission and acquisition of HIV among women, and that successful treatment for TV can reduce HIV genital shedding. Single dose metronidazole (MTZ) should no longer be used for HIV+ women with TV given the high rates of asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis co-infections and other factors that may render MTZ less effective in HIV+ women. Prevention of TV among HIV+ persons is similar to among HIV, including promotion of condoms as well as regular screening and prompt treatment. There may be a role for expedited partner treatment for the prevention of repeat infections, but most repeat infections are clinical treatment failures. Diligence in screening and treating TV among both HIV- susceptible and HIV+ persons is an important public health strategy.
In 2014, the California Department of Public Health was notified by a local health department of a diagnosis of acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection* and rectal gonorrhea in a male adult film industry performer, aged 25 years (patient A). Patient A had a 6-day history of rash, fever, and sore throat suggestive of acute retroviral syndrome at the time of examination. He was informed of his positive HIV and gonorrhea test results 6 days after his examination. Patient A had a negative HIV-1 RNA qualitative nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)(†) 10 days before symptom onset. This investigation found that during the 22 days between the negative NAAT and being informed of his positive HIV test results, two different production companies directed patient A to have condomless sex with a total of 12 male performers. Patient A also provided contact information for five male non-work-related sexual partners during the month before and after his symptom onset. Patient A had additional partners during this time period for which no locating information was provided. Neither patient A nor any of his interviewed sexual partners reported taking HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Contact tracing and phylogenetic analysis of HIV sequences amplified from pretreatment plasma revealed that a non-work-related partner likely infected patient A, and that patient A likely subsequently infected both a coworker during the second film production and a non-work-related partner during the interval between his negative test and receipt of his positive HIV results. Adult film performers and production companies, medical providers, and all persons at risk for HIV should be aware that testing alone is not sufficient to prevent HIV transmission. Condom use provides additional protection from HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Performers and all persons at risk for HIV infection in their professional and personal lives should discuss the use of PrEP with their medical providers.
Sexually transmitted infections are common causes of morbidity and mortality, including infertility and certain types of cancer. Alcohol tax increases may decrease sexually transmitted infection rates overall and differentially across population subgroups by decreasing alcohol consumption in general and prior to sex, thus decreasing sexual risk taking and sexually transmitted infection acquisition. This study investigated the effects of a Maryland increase in alcohol beverage sales tax on statewide gonorrhea and chlamydia rates overall and within age, gender, and race/ethnicity subpopulations.
Multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that simultaneously prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy are a global health priority. Combining chemical and physical barriers offers the greatest potential to design effective MPTs, but integrating both functional modalities into a single device has been challenging. Here we show that drug-eluting fiber meshes designed for topical drug delivery can function as a combination chemical and physical barrier MPT. Using FDA-approved polymers, we fabricated nanofiber meshes with tunable fiber size and controlled degradation kinetics that facilitate simultaneous release of multiple agents against HIV-1, HSV-2, and sperm. We observed that drug-loaded meshes inhibited HIV-1 infection in vitro and physically obstructed sperm penetration. Furthermore, we report on a previously unknown activity of glycerol monolaurate (GML) to potently inhibit sperm motility and viability. The application of drug-eluting nanofibers for HIV-1 prevention and sperm inhibition may serve as an innovative platform technology for drug delivery to the lower female reproductive tract.
Internet-accessed sexually transmitted infection testing (e-STI testing) is increasingly available as an alternative to testing in clinics. Typically this testing modality enables users to order a test kit from a virtual service (via a website or app), collect their own samples, return test samples to a laboratory, and be notified of their results by short message service (SMS) or telephone. e-STI testing is assumed to increase access to testing in comparison with face-to-face services, but the evidence is unclear. We conducted a randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of an e-STI testing and results service (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, and syphilis) on STI testing uptake and STI cases diagnosed.
Gonorrhea, the sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is the second most common notifiable disease in the United States after chlamydia; 468,514 cases were reported to state and local health departments in 2016, an increase of 18.5% from 2015 (1). N. gonorrhoeae has progressively developed resistance to most antimicrobials used to treat the infection (2). As a result, CDC recommends two antimicrobials (250 mg of ceftriaxone [IM] plus 1 g of azithromycin [PO]) for treating uncomplicated gonorrhea to improve treatment efficacy and, potentially, to slow the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. To monitor adherence to the current CDC-recommended regimen for uncomplicated gonorrhea, CDC reviewed enhanced data collected on a random sample of reported cases of gonorrhea in seven jurisdictions participating in the STD Surveillance Network (SSuN) and estimated the proportion of patients who received the CDC-recommended regimen for uncomplicated gonorrhea, by patient characteristics and diagnosing facility type. In 2016, the majority of reported patients with gonorrhea (81%) received the recommended regimen. There were no differences in the proportion of patients receiving the recommended regimen by age or race/ethnicity; however, patients diagnosed with gonorrhea in STD (91%) or family planning/reproductive health (94%) clinics were more likely to receive this regimen than were patients diagnosed in other provider settings (80%). These data document high provider adherence to CDC gonorrhea treatment recommendations in specialty STD clinics, indicating high quality of care provided in those settings. Local and state health departments should monitor adherence with recommendations in their jurisdictions and consider implementing interventions to improve provider and patient compliance with gonorrhea treatment recommendations where indicated.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates among US females remain low, in part because of concerns that HPV vaccination may promote unsafe sexual activity by lowering perceived risks of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Individuals who are sexually active may want to make a decision as to whether they are at risk for having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis. Our goal was to develop and evaluate a simple self-taken sexual risk quiz for participants, ordering an online STI self-collection test kit to determine whether the score predicted infection status.
The population of Sikkim is a unique blend of multi-tribal and metropolitan culture. However, till date, no data regarding prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (henceforth abbreviated as STDs) among this population is available and hence requires attention. Hence the objective is to determine the prevalence of STDs in Sikkim and to describe associated risk factors. A cross-sectional study involving ‘Questionnaire-based anonymous feedback system’ was followed to collect data from 2,000 individuals across the society. The four most common STDs, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV, were considered for the study. Total 69 (3.6 %) cases of STDs were found in 1,918 individuals was affected by at least one of the STDs, out of which 43 were males and 26 were females. Cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydiasis and HIV were 25, 22, 4 and 18 respectively. Out of total 69 cases of STDs, 20 individuals were also suffering from some kind of hepatitis. Addictions like alcoholism, smoking and drugs were also found in significant number, with 1,019 (>50 %) individuals with at least one of these addictions. Relative risk analysis indicates that gender-wise females are more vulnerable to STDs than males. The number of partners, addictions, especially alcohol and drug abuse, also contribute to STD cases. STDs act as a significant risk factor in transmitting some of the types of hepatitis. In such cases, females are more vulnerable than males. The results suggest that new community health programs are essential for both, HIV and non-HIV STDs in Sikkim.