Aetiological Pattern of Vulvovaginal Infections in Asymptomatic and Symptomatic HIV Seropositive Women on Antiretroviral Therapy DC11-DC16
Dr. Shukla Das,
University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi, India.
Introduction: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes severe public health problems. Despite the use of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), opportunistic infections remain a serious problem in HIV infection. HIV seropositive women are at a higher risk of acquiring Vulvovaginal Infections (VVI), compared to their HIV seronegative counterparts. Also, the large untreated asymptomatic populations remain a source for transmitting agent.
Aim: To identify the occurrence of vaginitis in symptomatic and asymptomatic HIV seropositive women.
Materials and Methods: HIV seropositive female patients (60 symptomatic and 60 asymptomatic for vulvovaginitis) in the reproductive age group of 18-60 years were screened for their vaginal flora in a tertiary care hospital in East Delhi, India. Wet mount, Gram stain, and culture were performed to screen the samples for vaginitis. Asymptomatic samples were processed to check for asymptomatic VVI. Nugent and Amsel’s score were calculated for Bacterial Vaginitis (BV), and Donders classification was used for Aerobic Vaginitis (AV). Sabouraud’s Dextrose Agar (SDA) was used for fungal cultures, and Fluconazole and Voriconazole sensitivity was tested. The descriptive analysis of compiled data with Chi-square tests where applicable to compare differences between proportions was done.
Results: As per the Nugent's score, 90% of symptomatic and 86.66% asymptomatic HIV reactive females had BV. Nugent scoring was found to be a better diagnostic criterion for BV. AV was observed in 33.33% asymptomatic patients. Candida albicans (C.albicans) was the most common agent isolated from 68.75% of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC) cases. Dual infection of BV and Candidiasis was reported to be 18.33% in symptomatic and 15% in asymptomatic HIV seropositive females.
Conclusion: In the present study, despite Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), attendees manifested significantly with BV infection in both groups. VVC due to C. albicans was also predominant in both groups. Co-infection with BV and VVC was the highlight of this study as dual infections of BV and AV remain under-diagnosed as per Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) syndromic management protocols. The clinicians need to identify AV as a separate entity as treatment modalities are essentially different.