[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate factors associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
A case-control study was used to investigate demographic and behavioural factors, and causative agents associated with PID.
A total of 381 participants were recruited: 140 patients, and 105 and 136 controls in tubal ligation and general practice groups, respectively. When compared with a PID-free tubal ligation control group, increased risk of PID was associated with: age <25 years; age at first sexual intercourse <20 years; non-white ethnicity; not having had children; a self-reported history of a sexually transmitted disease; and exposure to Chlamydia trachomatis. When compared with a general practice control group, increased risk was associated with: age <25 years; age at first sexual intercourse <15 years; lower socioeconomic status; being single; adverse pregnancy outcome; a self-reported history of a sexually transmitted disease; and exposure to C trachomatis. Of the cases, 64% were not associated with any of the infectious agents measured in this study (idiopathic).
A high proportion of cases were idiopathic. PID control strategies, which currently focus on chlamydial screening, have to be reviewed so that they can prevent all cases of PID. Behavioural change is a key factor in the primary prevention of PID, and potential modifiable risk factors were associated with PID.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have suggested that positivity can be used to estimate the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis in large-scale chlamydia screening programmes. A recent pilot of opportunistic screening in England estimated that the prevalence among 16-24-year-old women in Portsmouth and Wirral was 9.8% and 11.2%, respectively. This study assessed the continued validity of positivity as an approximate for prevalence. We re-analysed data from the Chlamydia Screening Pilot to estimate positivity,calculated as total positive tests divided by total tests, and compared these estimates with the previously reported prevalence, measured as the number of women testing positive divided by the total number of women screened. Overall positivity was 9.4% in Portsmouth and 11.0% in the Wirral; these estimates were not statistically different from prevalence, regardless of health-care setting, age group or symptoms. We conclude that positivity can be used as a proxy for prevalence.
International Journal of STD & AIDS 05/2005; 16(4):323-7. · 1.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the association between Mycoplasma genitalium, Chlamydia trachomatis, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) METHODS: A case-control methodology was used. Swab eluates were processed using the QIAamp DNA mini kit. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for M genitalium was carried out using a real time in-house 16S based assay. An endocervical swab was taken and tested for the presence of C trachomatis (ligase chain reaction, Abbott Laboratories), and a high vaginal swab was taken and tested for the presence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and bacterial vaginosis.
Of the PID cases 13% (6/45) had evidence of M genitalium infection compared to none of the controls (0/37); 27% (12/45) of the cases had C trachomatis infection compared to none of the controls; and 16% (7/45) of cases only had serological evidence of C trachomatis infection compared to 5% (2/37) of controls. Cases were more likely to present with M genitalium and/or C trachomatis than controls (p<0.001).
This study indicates that there may be an association between M genitalium and PID, and that this relation is largely independent of C trachomatis. Future studies need to investigate the pathological basis of the relation between M genitalium and PID using samples from women with PID diagnosed using laparoscopy and endometrial biopsy. Little is known about the epidemiology of M genitalium: large scale epidemiological investigations are needed to determine the prevalence, incidence, and factors associated with this emerging infection.
Journal of Clinical Pathology 08/2003; 56(8):616-8. · 2.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the acceptability of opportunistic screening for Chlamydia trachomatis in young people in a range of healthcare settings.
An opportunistic screening programme (1 September 1999 to 31 August 2000) using urine samples tested by ligase chain reaction (LCR). Data on uptake and testing were collected and in-depth interviews were used for programme evaluation.
General practice, family planning, genitourinary medicine clinics, adolescent sexual health clinics, termination of pregnancy clinics, and women's services in hospitals (antenatal, colposcopy, gynaecology and infertility clinics) in two health authorities (Wirral and Portsmouth and South East Hampshire). Main participants: Sexually active women aged between 16 and 24 years attending healthcare settings for any reason.
Uptake data: proportion of women accepting a test by area, healthcare setting, and age; overall population coverage achieved in 1 year. Evaluation data: participants' attitudes and views towards opportunistic screening and urine testing.
Acceptance of testing by women (16-24 years) was 76% in Portsmouth and 84% in Wirral. Acceptance was lower in younger women (Portsmouth only) and varied by healthcare setting within each site. 50% of the target female population were screened in Portsmouth and 39% in Wirral. Both the opportunistic offer of screening and the method of screening were universally acceptable. Major factors influencing a decision to accept screening were the non-invasive nature of testing and treatment, desire to protect future fertility, and the experimental nature of the screening programme.
An opportunistic model of urine screening for chlamydial infection is a practical, universally acceptable method of screening.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the prevalence and treatment outcomes among young women screened opportunistically for genital Chlamydia trachomatis and to evaluate the impact of screening in those participating.
An opportunistic screening programme (1 September 1999 to 31 August 2000) using urine samples, tested by ligase chain reaction (LCR). In-depth interviews were used for programme evaluation.
Screening was offered in two health authorities at general practice, family planning, genitourinary medicine (GUM), adolescent sexual health, termination of pregnancy clinics and women's services in hospitals (antenatal, colposcopy, gynaecology and infertility clinics). Main participants: Sexually active women (16-24 years) attending for any reason.
Screening data: prevalence of infection by age and healthcare setting; proportion of positive patients attending for treatment. Evaluation data: participants' attitudes and views towards screening and follow up.
In total, 16 930 women (16-24 years) were screened. Prevalence was higher in younger women (16-20) than those aged 21-24 years and was highly variable at different healthcare settings (range 3.4%-17.6%). Prevalence was approximately 9% in general practice. The role of the project health advisers in managing results and coordinating treatment of positive individuals was essential; the vast majority of all positives were known to be treated. Women felt that screening was beneficial. Improving awareness and education about sexually transmitted infections is required to alleviate negative reactions associated with testing positive for infection.
Prevalence of infection outside GUM clinics is substantial and opportunistic screening using urine samples is an acceptable method of reaching individuals with infection who do not normally present at specialist clinics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals who repeatedly acquire sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may facilitate the persistence of disease at endemic levels. Identifying those most likely to become reinfected with an STI would help in the development of targeted interventions.
To investigate the demographic and behavior characteristics of sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic patients most likely to reattend with an STI.
The proportion of patients attending three STD clinics in England between 1994 and 1998 who reattended for treatment of acute STI within 1 year was estimated from Kaplan-Meier failure curves. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to investigate the relation between rate of reattendance with an acute STI and patient characteristics.
Of the 17,466 patients presenting at an STD clinic with an acute STI, 14% reattended for treatment of an STI within 1 year. Important determinants of reinfection were age, sexual orientation, and ethnicity: 20% of 12- to 15-year-old females (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.90; CI, 1.13-3.18, compared with 20- to 24-year-old females), 22% of homosexual men (adjusted HR, 1.30; CI, 1.07-1.58, compared with heterosexual men), and 25% of black Caribbean attendees (adjusted HR, 1.87; CI, 1.63-2.13, compared with whites) reattended for treatment of acute STI within 1 year. In addition, 21% of those with a history of STI (adjusted HR, 1.42; CI, 1.28-1.59, compared with those with no history of STI) and 17% of individuals reporting three or more partners in the recent past (adjusted HR, 1.53; CI, 1.34-1.73, compared with those with one partner) reattended for treatment of an acute STI within 1 year.
In this STD clinic population, teenage females, homosexual men, black Caribbean attendees, individuals with a history of STI, and those reporting high rates of sexual partner change repeatedly re-presented with acute STIs. Directing enhanced STD clinic-based interventions at these groups may be an effective strategy for STI control.
Sex Transm Dis 08/2001; 28(7):379-86. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 infections detected in an ongoing national unlinked anonymous HIV surveillance program were subtyped and analyzed according to demographic and risk characteristics. Of the 893 anti--HIV-1--positive specimens allocated to an exposure group, 70% could be subtyped. Almost 25% of infections subtyped were non-B, mostly subtypes A, C, and D. Non-B infections were rare in homosexual and bisexual men and in drug injectors. Forty percent of infections in heterosexual men attending genitourinary medicine clinics were non-B subtypes; of these, 25% were subtype A infections and 59% were subtype C infections. For female clinic attendees, 61% were non-B subtype infections, of which 48% were subtype A infections and 42% were subtype C infections. Of the clinic attendees born in the United Kingdom and Europe, 14% of the men and 35% of the women were infected with non-B subtypes. In contrast, 78% of infections in antenatal patients were non-B subtypes, of which 61% were subtype A and 29% were subtype C. Extrapolation to the estimated 29,700 prevalent adult infections in the United Kingdom indicates that approximately 8,100 (27%) such infections are non-B subtypes and that these are found almost entirely in heterosexuals. The findings suggest spread of infection of non-B subtypes to heterosexuals born in the United Kingdom from individuals infected in regions of high prevalence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether the risk factors associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV) are consistent with it being a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by comparing the characteristics of women with BV with those of women with infections recognised as being sexually and non-sexually transmitted.
A prospective cross sectional study was conducted among female patients presenting for diagnosis at a genitourinary medicine clinic in Sheffield between January 1996 and September 1998. Demographic and behavioural characteristics were reported from patient records and a standardised questionnaire was administered. Risk factor models for BV, two STIs, and two non-STIs were compiled using a multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Among the 8989 females under 45 years eligible for analysis, the prevalence of BV was 12.9%. Risk factors associated with BV included some in common with gonorrhoea and Chlamydia trachomatis and some that were not associated with these two STIs. Risk factors common to BV and the STIs included having had more than one sexual partner in the past 3 months, having a history of a bacterial STI, being of black Caribbean ethnicity, and living in a deprived area. However, BV had a contrasting age profile, being most prevalent among those over the age of 30. BV was also more common in those who were divorced.
BV is associated with some factors related to the acquisition of gonorrhoea and Chlamydia trachomatis. However, infection is not only determined by those factors and therefore factors other than sexual activity may be important in the development of the condition.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A laboratory method has been developed that detects recent HIV infection and allows incidence to be estimated by testing single stored antibody-positive specimens. A theoretical exploration of the method's surveillance utility was carried out.
Using various data sources, HIV incidence rates were postulated. The confidence intervals (CI) for these postulated incidences were calculated using the expected number of recent infections for each postulated incidence, the actual number tested for HIV, and the known number of HIV-1 positives. A test for trend was used to determine when an important change in incidence could be recognized.
If the incidence was 5% per annum (p.a.) in homosexual/bisexual men attending sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinics in London, 64 recent infections would be expected in the 392 HIV-seropositive specimens and, if observed, would result in a 95% CI of 3.1-7.9% p.a. for the incidence rate. An incidence of 1% p.a. in pregnant women would be most unlikely as this would require detection of 193 recent infections, 26 more than the total 167 HIV-seropositive specimens found in 1997. In African women attending STD clinics in London, 30% of prevalent infections would be classified as recent if the incidence was 5% p.a. Further, if the incidence in homosexual/bisexual men were to fall by 50% over 3 years, a decrease of this magnitude would be recognized as significant within 2 years.
The detuned assay will increase the information from HIV serosurveys even where prevalence and incidence are relatively low. Existing surveillance systems should be redesigned to take full advantage of the method.
AIDS 12/2000; 14(16):2597-601. · 6.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of HIV and AIDS in the United Kingdom (UK) has changed markedly since highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was introduced in 1996. HAART including protease inhibitors has considerably improved survival from AIDS diagnosis. The number of deaths of individuals with HIV infection in the UK, reported within 12 months of the end of the year of death, have decreased between 1995 and 1998. Concurrently AIDS diagnoses, reported within 12 months of the end of the year of diagnosis, have declined whilst diagnoses of HIV infection, similarly reported, have risen. Data from 13,689 adult AIDS cases diagnosed up to the end of 1996 were analysed. The overall median survival from AIDS diagnosis to death was 19.3 months. Over 50% of the cases diagnosed in 1996 were alive at the end of the survey therefore median survival exceeds 24 months, the maximum follow up time for the cohort. The opportunity for receiving HAART was modelled in three time periods: pre-multiple therapies (before September 1995), multiple reverse-transcriptase inhibitor therapy available (September 1995 to March 1996), and multiple therapy including protease inhibitors available (April 1996 onwards). Survival rates improved significantly among female heterosexuals and men who have sex with men when multiple therapy including protease inhibitors became available.
Communicable disease and public health / PHLS 10/2000; 3(3):188-94.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the risk factors for four common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in attenders at three large urban genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in England.
Clinical, demographic, and behavioural data on attenders at two clinics in London and one in Sheffield were collected. Risk factors associated with first episodes of genital warts and genital herpes simplex virus (HSV), and uncomplicated gonorrhoea and chlamydia were investigated using the presence of each of these STIs as the outcome variable in separate multiple logistic regression analyses.
Using data on the first attendance of the 18,238 patients attending the clinics in 1996, the risk of a gonorrhoea or chlamydia diagnosis was strongly associated with teenagers compared with those aged over 34, with black Caribbeans and black Africans compared with whites, and increased with the number of sexual partners. The risk of genital warts or HSV diagnosis was lowest in black Caribbeans and black Africans compared with whites and was not associated with the number of sexual partners. While genital warts were associated with younger age, odds ratios were much lower compared with those for the bacterial infections. Genital HSV diagnoses were not associated with age.
This study of GUM clinic attenders suggests a reduction in the incidence of bacterial STIs may be achievable through targeted sexual health promotion focusing particularly on black ethnic minorities, teenagers, and those with multiple sexual partnerships. Viral STIs were less clearly associated with population subgroups and a broader population based approach to sexual health promotion may be more effective in controlling these infections.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A questionnaire based audit was used to evaluate the diagnosis and management of suspected pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) cases by general practitioners (GPs) in England and Wales. Responses were compared against a clinical management 'gold standard' devised by an independent group of GPs and specialists. Two hundred and ninety-seven (38%) of the 781 questionnaires were returned. Only 21 (7%) had all 'gold standard' sections correct. Diagnostic quality was significantly higher when the clinician was female compared with male (odds ratio [OR]=2.34; 95% confidence limits [CL]=1.19-4.63) and diagnostic quality increased with increasing socioeconomic deprivation. This is the first evaluation of the diagnosis and management of PID by GPs in England and Wales. The unusually poor response rate to a Medical Research Council General Practice Research Framework (MRC GPRF) study may reflect low disease awareness and sub-optimal management. This represents a fundamental obstacle to effective intervention and surveillance. Effective intervention will only be possible if diagnostic practice and management are improved substantially.
International Journal of STD & AIDS 08/2000; 11(7):440-4. · 1.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the prevalence and factors associated with genital chlamydia in 1996 and to evaluate the introduction of restricted screening criteria based on diagnostic testing and prevention of iatrogenic pelvic inflammatory disease in 1997.
Women attending Liverpool family planning clinics.
Clinical and demographic data were recorded at routine clinic consultations. Data were analyzed using logistic regression.
In 1996, a 5.7% (123/2165) chlamydial prevalence was detected. A significantly lower prevalence was observed in the over-25-year-old age group compared to those aged 16-19 years old (p < 0.0001), and in those with an interval of over 11 months since the last new sexual partner compared to those with a new partner in the past 1-3 months (p < 0.05). A significantly higher prevalence was detected in those only presenting with signs of infection alone compared to those presenting with either symptoms or both signs and symptoms of infection (p < 0.05). Those requesting a termination of pregnancy were at higher risk of genital chlamydia than those attending for contraceptive advice (odds ratio 1.97; 95% confidence interval 1.14-3.39). Using the restricted screening criteria, prevalences of 5.4% (78/1438) and 3.7% (60/1641) were found for 1996 and 1997, respectively. Prevalences were significantly higher in 1996 than 1997 when adjusted for the other factors (p < 0.05).
The study raised awareness of genital chlamydia among women attending family planning clinics and showed that primary care could make a significant contribution to the prevention of chlamydial infection. It is only by initiating intervention strategies in such settings that genital chlamydia will be controlled effectively in the UK.
The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 04/2000; 5(1):91-5. · 1.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An unmatched retrospective case control study was conducted to test the feasibility of investigating social and behavioural factors which may have contributed to recent HIV seroconversion in a group of homosexual men. Participants, recruited from a London sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic, were sexually active and had had a negative HIV test with a subsequent test (positive (cases) or negative (controls)) within three to 15 months. Twenty cases and 22 controls were recruited between February and October 1995. There was no difference between cases and controls in: the number of regular or casual sexual partners, the proportion who were unaware of their regular partners' serostatus (cases 60%, controls 59%), or the proportion who had known HIV-positive regular partners (cases 20%, controls 23%). A significant difference in sexual behaviour was found only when the HIV status of partners, if known, was taken into account: cases were more likely than controls to have had unprotected receptive anal intercourse with a partner not known to be HIV-negative (OR = 5.5, CI = 1.15-29.50). Fifty per cent of the cases and 27% of the controls acquired acute STDs between the two HIV tests. All participants achieved high self-efficacy scores, but the controls believed their peers placed a greater value on safer sex. Cases cited emotional issues and the use of drugs and alcohol as contributing to their seroconversion, whereas controls cited a commitment to safer sex and the avoidance of high-risk situations as contributing to their remaining HIV-negative. The results illustrate the importance of acknowledging the concept of 'negotiated safety' in studies of sexual behaviour; seroconversion was only associated with unprotected sex with a partner not known to be HIV-negative. Despite high self-efficacy scores, indicating the skills to negotiate safer sex, high levels of unsafe anal intercourse were reported. Differences between cases and controls included the importance of safer sex, periods of emotional vulnerability, influence of peers and the appropriate use of condoms. There is a need for these results to be confirmed in a larger and more powerful study.
AIDS Care 03/2000; 12(1):49-58. · 1.60 Impact Factor