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Association between bacterial vaginosis and partner concurrency: a longitudinal study
  1. Chris R Kenyon1,
  2. Jozefien Buyze2,
  3. Mark Klebanoff3,
  4. Rebecca M Brotman4
  1. 1 HIV/STI Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
  2. 2 HIV/STD Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
  3. 3 The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  4. 4 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Chris R Kenyon, HIV/STI Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, Antwerpen 2000, Belgium; ckenyon{at}


Objectives The study aimed to test if there was an association between prevalent bacterial vaginosis (BV) and women reporting that their partner had other partners at the same time (partner concurrency). This association has not been assessed in a longitudinal cohort.

Methods The Longitudinal Study of Vaginal Flora recruited a cohort of 3620 non-pregnant women aged 15–44 years who presented for routine primary healthcare at 12 clinics in Birmingham, Alabama. Behavioural questionnaires and vaginal smears were obtained quarterly for a year and BV was defined by a Nugent score 7 or higher as well as Amsel criteria. Mixed effects logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between prevalent BV and reporting that one's partner had other partners in the preceding 3–6 months time interval.

Results Nugent score prevalent BV was associated with both reporting that one's partner definitely (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.8) and possibly (aOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.8) engaged in partner concurrency in the preceding 3–6 months time period. Prevalent BV diagnosed by Amsel criteria was similar.

Conclusions A diagnosis of prevalent BV was associated with reporting that one's partner possibly or definitely engaged in partner concurrency.


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  • Handling editor Jackie A Cassell

  • Contributors Conceived the study: CRK and RMB. Conducted the analyses: CRK and JB. Wrote the first draft: CRK. Contributed to the final draft: CRK, RMB, JB and MK.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval University of Alabama at Birmingham OH-99-CH-N023.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data are available from: