Vaginal Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Is a Useful Biomarker of Semen Exposure Among HIV-Infected Ugandan Women

AIDS Behav. 2017 Jul;21(7):2141-2146. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1433-7.


The practical feasibility of using prostate specific antigen (PSA) as a biomarker of semen exposure was examined among HIV-infected Ugandan women. Vaginal fluids were obtained with self-collected swabs and a qualitative rapid test (ABAcard®p30) was used to detect PSA. Trained laboratory technicians processed samples on-site and positive PSA tests were compared to self-reported unprotected vaginal sex (UVS) in the last 48 h. A total of 77 women submitted 126 samples for PSA testing at up to three study visits. Of these samples, 31 % (n = 39/126) were PSA positive, and 64 % (n = 25/39) of the positive PSA samples were accompanied by self-report of no UVS at the study visit the PSA was collected. There were no reported difficulties with specimen collection, storage, or processing. These findings provide preliminary data on high levels of misreported UVS among HIV-infected Ugandan women using practically feasible methods for PSA collection and processing.

Keywords: Biomarker; Condom use; HIV; Prostate specific antigen; Self-report.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis*
  • Self Report*
  • Semen / chemistry*
  • Uganda
  • Unsafe Sex*
  • Vagina / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen