Background: The importance of Mycoplasma genitalium in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-burdened sub-Saharan Africa is relatively unknown. We assessed the prevalence and explored determinants of this emerging sexually transmitted infection (STI) in high-risk women in Uganda.
Methods: Endocervical swabs from 1025 female sex workers in Kampala were tested for Mycoplasma genitalium using a commercial Real-TM polymerase chain reaction assay. Factors associated with prevalent Mycoplasma genitalium, including sociodemographics, reproductive history, risk behavior, and HIV and other STIs, were examined using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: The prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium was 14% and higher in HIV-positive women than in HIV-negative women (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.41). Mycoplasma genitalium infection was less prevalent in older women (adjusted OR, 0.61; 95% CI, .41-.90 for women ages 25-34 years vs <25 years; adjusted OR, 0.32; 95% CI, .15-.71 for women ≥ 35 years vs those <25 years) and in those who had been pregnant but never had a live birth (adjusted OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.04-4.88). Mycoplasma genitalium was associated with Neisseria gonorrhoeae (adjusted OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.13-2.98) and with Candida infection (adjusted OR, 0.41; 95% CI, .18-.91), and there was some evidence of association with Trichomonas vaginalis (adjusted OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.00-2.44).
Conclusions: The relatively high prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium and its association with prevalent HIV urgently calls for further research to explore the potential role this emerging STI plays in the acquisition and transmission of HIV infection.