Objective: To determine whether the clinical course of pelvic inflammatory disease differs between women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and seronegative controls.
Methods: All admissions for acute pelvic inflammatory disease from January 1, 1986 to December 31, 1992 at San Francisco General Hospital were reviewed, identifying 23 HIV-seropositive women. Their clinical course was compared with a control group of 108 seronegative women admitted for acute pelvic inflammatory disease.
Results: Human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive women with acute pelvic inflammatory disease had significantly lower abdominal tenderness scores (P < .05), lower admission and discharge white blood cell counts (WBC) (P < .01, P < .05), and fewer gonococcal infections (odds ratio 0.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1-0.9; P < .05) than the seronegative controls. There were no significant differences in duration of treatment, length of hospitalization, or incidence of tubo-ovarian abscess. Significantly more HIV-positive women with acute pelvic inflammatory disease required surgical intervention than seronegative women (odds ratio 5.5, 95% CI 1.0-29.3; P < .05).
Conclusion: Human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive women with acute pelvic inflammatory disease may have an altered immune response, resulting in inadequate response to antimicrobial agents and the need for more surgical intervention. Future studies must include larger numbers of HIV-infected women, and the results must be stratified for CD4 counts, clinical HIV stage, and other measures of immunocompromise.