Friday, September 11, 2009

Anal warts and anal gonorrhoea associated with HIV infection in gay men

by Roger Pebody, via Aidsmap

The two sexually transmitted infections most strongly associated with HIV acquisition in gay and bisexual men are anal warts and anal gonorrhoea, Australian researchers report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Herpes infections did not emerge as significant in this study, but men with warts were three times more likely to acquire HIV, and men with gonorrhoea were seven times as likely. The authors suggest that more frequent screening for anal sexually transmitted infections in gay men should be investigated as a means of HIV prevention.

Numerous observational studies have suggested that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) facilitate the acquisition and transmission of HIV. However most studies have been conducted among heterosexuals, and previous prospective studies have not examined the full range of sexually transmitted infections that are common in gay and bisexual men.

In particular, genital or anal warts have often been overlooked, and many studies have not distinguished between genital and anal infections.

Warts are caused by infection with certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Infection with other strains of HPV may lead to cervical or anal cancer, but people with warts are not more likely to develop cancer. A recent study found that men infected with cancer-causing HPV are more likely to acquire HIV.

Read the rest.

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