Background and objectives: To assess trends in the acquisition of new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among patients who test positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) at STD clinics.
Study design: Cohorts of HIV-positive and HIV-negative persons were compared using computerized records from Miami STD clinics for 1988-1992. Persons were assigned to cohorts according to their first positive or first negative HIV test results. New STDs were defined if persons had new diagnoses of gonorrhea, primary or secondary syphilis, chancroid, or lymphogranuloma venereum; were undergoing treatment as contacts for syphilis or gonorrhea; or were undergoing epidemiologic treatment for syphilis or gonorrhea.
Results: Of the 103,549 persons who visited the clinics, 53,467 were tested for HIV, and 5,615 had results that were positive. The percentages returning with new STDs were similar for the HIV-positive and HIV-negative cohorts, and both decreased over time. For the 1988 cohorts, 26% of those testing positive and 30% of those testing negative for HIV returned with at least one STD within 5 years. Returns with STD within 1 year decreased from 16% in 1988 to 3% in 1992.
Conclusions: Returns decreased dramatically among HIV-positive cohorts; however, there were similar decreases of new STDs among HIV-negative cohorts, so the decrease may have been caused by the decreasing prevalence of bacterial STD in the community rather than by behavioral changes among HIV-positive persons.