OBJECTIVES--To evaluate the clinical and microbiological characteristics of symptomatic vaginal candidiasis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-seropositive women attending a gynaecologic outpatient clinic for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). DESIGN--Vaginal, rectal and oral specimens from cases and controls were cultured for Candida spp. SUBJECTS--Eighty-four consecutive HIV-seropositive and 384 HIV-seronegative women with clinical signs of vulvovaginitis. SETTING--A gynaecological out-patient clinic in Pavia, Italy. RESULTS--The overall prevalence of vaginal candidiasis was 61.9% (52/84) in the cases and 32.3% (124/384; p < .001) in the controls. After adjustment by logistic regression analysis for confounding factors (age at first intercourse, lifetime sex partners, new partner/s in the last 6 months, type of contraceptive used), HIV-seropositive patients were at higher risk for both Candida albicans (odds ratio = 2.5; 95% confidence interval 1.31-4.69; p = 0.006) and Torulopsis glabrata vaginitis (OR = 3.5; 95% CI = 1.05-11.60; p = 0.04) than controls. HIV-seropositive subjects had also increased rates of oral and rectal colonisation with Candida spp. Finally, the time to recurrence of vaginal infection was significantly shorter in HIV-seropositive patients than controls and was correlated with the severity of HIV-induced immunodepression. CONCLUSIONS--Vulvovaginal candidiasis is very common in HIV-seropositive women and its prevalence is correlated with the immunological status of the host. These patients have higher frequencies of Torulopsis glabrata vaginal infection and are more prone to recurrence than HIV-seronegative controls.
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