What is the role of STDs in the transmission of HIV?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Concomitant infection with other STDs (eg, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis) is the most well-known risk factor that predisposes to transmission of HIV. These STDs may cause mucosal ulcerations or tears or a higher concentration of inflammatory cells in the mucosa, which are targets for HIV infection. Comprehensive testing for these should be obtained when a sexual transmission is suspected or the source of infection is unknown, both in the patient and in sexual partners.


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