Background: Patients with sexually transmitted diseases form a particularly vulnerable group for infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), and serological surveillance is a sensitive tool for assessing the prevalence of this disease.
Methods: We carried out a serological survey for the detection of antibody to HIV-1 among persons belonging to various high-risk groups in Bombay from 1987 to 1989. Among these were 599 patients with various sexually transmitted diseases.
Results: Thirty-nine patients (5.2%) were found to be HIV-1 antibody seropositive by the ELISA and Western blot tests. An increase in HIV-1 antibody seropositivity among both the male and female patients with sexually transmitted diseases was detected from 1987 to 1989 and seropositivity was maximally associated with condylomata acuminata, genital herpes and chancroid.
Conclusion: HIV-1 is established in this sentinel population and needs to be controlled vigorously.
PIP: Patients with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are especially vulnerable to HIV infection. 355 heterosexuals with multiple partners, 6 homosexuals, and 238 female sex workers with STDs in Bombay were surveyed serologically to determine the extent to which HIV-1 may be disseminated within their subpopulation. ELISA and Western blot test results found that the seroprevalence of antibody to HIV-1 increased from 1.3% in 1987 to 5.3% in 1988 and 7% in 1989. The increase in seropositivity occurred among both sexes and was maximally associated with condylomata acuminata, genital herpes, and chancroid. These findings clearly indicate the HIV-1 is established in this population and urgently needs to be controlled.