HIV-1 infection-associated risk factors among sexually transmitted disease patients in Athens, Greece: 1990 to 1996

Sex Transm Dis. 2000 May;27(5):259-65. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200005000-00004.


Objective: To determine trends in HIV seroprevalence and related risk factors among patients with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and to report the respective epidemiologic history characteristics.

Methods: A cross-sectional seroepidemiologic study conducted from 1990 to 1996 among 5,669 symptomatic STD cases was carried out.

Results: The overall HIV test acceptance was 98.9%, and 1.2% patients (n = 66) were seropositive. Highest rates were detected among those who were born or resided in Sub-Saharan Africa. Seropositivity fluctuates significantly by age, and is excessive in persons 45 years and older (2.6%). A significant decreasing trend in STD incidence and HIV seroprevalence among patients younger than 25 years was detected. Male homosexuals and bisexuals (MSM) exhibited the highest overall rate of infection (5.8%) followed by intravenous drug users (2%). Highly promiscuous STD patients (ie, those who had more than 10 partners during the past 6 months) presented a significantly increased HIV seroprevalence when compared with patients of the same sexual orientation. STD patients infected with HIV mostly belonged to notable risk categories of AIDS (men who have sex with men, 72.7%). Awareness of serostatus was low (13.6%). In male patients, the HIV seropositivity rate was significantly higher among early syphilis and proctitis cases, whereas in females this higher rate occurred with herpes genitalis.

Conclusions: Promiscuity and sexual orientation significantly influence the seroprevalence rate. Exposure to HIV remained stable despite the above declining time trends, which implies the need for additional preventive interventions targeted to the real health and illness behavior of the partner.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV-1* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / complications*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*


  • HIV Antibodies