Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Original Articles

Seropositivity to Multiple Sexually Transmitted Infections Is Not Common

Kibur, Mari MD*†; Koskela, Pentti PhD; Dillner, Joakim MD, PhD§∥; Leinikki, Pauli MD, PhD; Saikku, Pekka MD, PhD; Lehtinen, Matti MD, PhD; Hakama, Matti ScD¶∥

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Background:: Seropositivity for several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is often used as a surrogate measure of sexual behavior. The authors assessed the concomitant seropositivity for STIs in women.

Goal:: To estimate the excess of concomitant seropositivity for four STIs among fertile‐aged women assuming no coinfections above what would be expected at random.

Study Design:: Antibodies to herpes simplex virus type 2, human papillomavirus type 16, HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Treponema pallidum were determined from a random sample of 1110 pregnant women in Tallinn, Estonia.

Results:: A total of 310 combinations of the concomitant seropositivity were observed, whereas only 193 were expected by chance. Among persons seropositive for two STIs, 78 extra combinations were observed, whereas for three STIs, 35 extra combinations were observed. For four STIs, 3.8 extra combinations were found.

Conclusions:: Seropositivity to multiple STIs is not common. This fits the concept of different transmission probabilities and the spread of the STIs, and suggests that seropositivity alone should be used with caution as a surrogate to sexual behavior in women.

© Copyright 2000 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association


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