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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574


ONOYA, D et al. Incidence and predictors of sexually transmitted infections among adult HIV-positive patients receiving antiretroviral therapy at Themba Lethu HIV clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2021, vol.111, n.1, pp.80-86. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among people living with HIV/AIDS can facilitate the spread of HIV. OBJECTIVES: To estimate STI incidence and identify predictors of STI acquisition among HIV-positive patients during their first 24 months of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Johannesburg, South Africa. METHODS: We conducted a cohort study using prospectively collected routine data on patients who initiated ART between January 2004 and January 2015 at the Themba Lethu HIV clinic in Johannesburg. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate STI incidence rates (based on evidence of laboratory diagnosis and STI syndromic treatment prescription records). STI predictors were identified using Cox regression analysis. RESULTS: Among 26 762 adult patients on ART, there were 1 906 (7.1%) cases of STI (incidence 4.8/100 person-years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.7 - 5.1). Non-pregnant women were 60% more likely than men to be diagnosed with an STI (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.6; 95% CI 1.4 - 1.8). The risk of STI decreased with increasing baseline CD4 count (aHR 0.8, 0.5 and 0.4 for CD4 counts 101 - 200, 201 - 350 and >350 cells/μL, respectively, compared with CD4 count <100 cells/μL). Patients with advanced baseline World Health Organization (WHO) clinical stages had a higher risk (aHR 1.6 for WHO stage 4; 95% CI 1.3 - 1.9) compared with those with WHO stage 1. However, there was a 20% increase in the risk of STI among obese patients compared with underweight patients (aHR 1.3; 95% CI 1.0 - 1.7). Over 80% of obese patients diagnosed with an STI had a CD4 count <200 cells/μL. CONCLUSIONS: STIs are common in HIV-infected patients who are receiving ART. While both ART and the syndromic management of STIs are high-impact interventions for controlling the spread of HIV, closer monitoring of STI occurrences is warranted, particularly among immunologically vulnerable patients.

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