Association Between Schistosoma haematobium Exposure and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Females in Mozambique
Author(s): Brodish PH, Singh K
Recent evidence suggests an association between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Women with FGS have increased numbers of HIV target cells and cell receptors in genital and blood compartments, potentially increasing the risk of HIV transmission per sexual exposure, and the association may explain the high female:male ratio of HIV prevalence unique to sub-Saharan Africa.
We investigated this association in Mozambique by linking two georeferenced, high-quality secondary data sources on HIV prevalence and Schistosoma haematobium: the AIDS Indicator Survey, and the Global Neglected Tropical Diseases (GNTD) open-source database, respectively. We constructed a schistosomiasis exposure covariate indicating women reporting “unimproved” daily drinking water sources and living no more than 2–5 km from high-endemic global positioning system (GPS) coordinates in the GNTD. In logistic regression analyses predicting HIV-positive status, we show that exposure increases the odds of HIV-positive status by three times, controlling for demographic and sexual risk factors.
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