Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000243624.74573.63
Article

Associations Between Intravaginal Practices and Bacterial Vaginosis in Kenyan Female Sex Workers Without Symptoms of Vaginal Infections

Hassan, Wisal M. MBChB, MPH*§; Lavreys, Ludo MD, MSc, PhD*§; Chohan, Vrasha BSc§; Richardson, Barbra A. PhD‡; Mandaliya, Kishorchandra MBChB, FRCP¶; Ndinya-Achola, Jeckoniah O. MBChB, MSc§; Kiarie, James MBChB, MMed, MPH‖; Jaoko, Walter MBChB, MTMed, PhD§; Holmes, King K. MD, PhD*†; McClelland, R Scott MD, MPH*†§

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Abstract

Background: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is highly prevalent among African women and has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV-1.

Goal: The goal of this study was to analyze the relationship among intravaginal practices, bathing, and BV.

Study Design: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of HIV-1-seronegative Kenyan female sex workers without symptoms of vaginal infections.

Results: Of 237 women enrolled, 206 (87%) reported vaginal washing using either a finger or cloth. Increasing frequency of vaginal washing was associated with a higher likelihood of BV (χ2 test for trend, P = 0.05). In multivariate analysis, vaginal lubrication with petroleum jelly (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4–5.6), lubrication with saliva (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.1–4.8), and bathing less than the median for the cohort (14 times/week; OR = 4.6, 95% CI = 1.2–17.5) were associated with a significantly higher likelihood of BV.

Conclusions: Modification of intravaginal and general hygiene practices should be evaluated as potential strategies for reducing the risk of BV.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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