BACKGROUND: No study exists on HIV and vulvodynia. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate vulvodynia in HIV infected women and its possible association with HIV. DESIGN: Cross sectional study. SETTING: Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Turin. METHODS: 235 HIV positive and 272 HIV negative women were studied for vulvar pain between June 1995 and January 1997. Diagnosis of vulvodynia was based on clinical history, dermatological and vulvovaginal examination, and bacteriology. Colposcopy and vulvar biopsy were performed and psychometric examination was done. RESULTS: Vulvodynia was diagnosed in five women with HIV and in one uninfected woman (odds ratio = 2.5; 95% confidence interval: 0.1-62.6). High neuroticism scores were observed in women with history of vulvar pain, the highest in HIV infected vulvodynia patients (p = 0.000). CONCLUSIONS: Confirming the association of gynaecological pain with neurotic personality, our study suggests causal link between HIV and vulvodynia.
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