Home All Posts BIOLOGY FORM FOUR TOPIC 5: HUMAN IMMUNO DEFICIENCY (HIV) ACQUIRED IMMUNO DEFICIENCY...
The Relationship between HIV and STIs
The link between HIV and other STIs might seem obvious. After all, the same
sorts of risk behaviour are involved. However, numerous studies seem to indicate that there is a stronger association between HIV and otherSTIs than would be expected simply from a behavioural link. Infection with STIs (including syphilis, gonorrhoea and herpes) seems to increase the risk of both acquiring and transmitting HIV over and above a behavioural link. So does bacterial vaginosis, a condition not formally classed as an STI, since it appears not to be transmitted, but which is associated with poor sexual health generally.
Depending on the STI involved and the population, studies have reported that having an STI magnifies the risk of acquiring HIV by anything from two to eight times or more. In the case of people with HIV, having an STI increases viral loads both in the blood and genital secretions, thus making people more infectious – even when taking antiretroviraltreatment.
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