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.
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.
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).
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.