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Background: Sexual risk behaviours expose people to HIV infection but also to other sexually transmitted infections (STI). In the context of an increase of STI in France, the aim of our work was to analyse the frequency of STI in people newly diagnosed for HIV between 2012 and 2015.
Methods: Since 2012, mandatory HIV surveillance system in France has collected information on bacterial STI (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia trachomatis infection or lymphogranuloma venereum-LGV). These infections had to be reported if they were concurrently diagnosed at the time of HIV diagnosis or diagnosed in the last 12 months before HIV diagnosis (STI/HIV co-infections).
Results: Information on STI infection was available for 9.207 HIV diagnoses in adults during the period 2012-2015 (52% of all diagnoses). STI/HIV co-infection was globally 14.2% (1.310/9.207), but was more frequent in men having sex with men (MSM) (25.4%) than in heterosexuals born in France (9.0%: 11.1% in men and 6.0% in women) or abroad (3.4%: 5.0% in men and 2.3% in women) and in injecting drug users (6.7%). STI/HIV co-infection was more frequent when HIV infection was diagnosed during acute illness.
STI/HIV co-infection has increased overtime (from 12.9% in 2012 to 16.9% in 2015), but this increase was observed only in MSM (from 22.0% to 30.0%).
Among STI, the frequency of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and LGV were respectively 74.3%, 15.8%, 15.0% and 1.7%. Chlamydia was the only STI more frequent in heterosexuals compared to MSM.
Conclusions: STI/HIV co-infections affect almost one third of MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 2015, and most commonly syphilis/HIV. These results highlight the importance to combine HIV testing to other STI, and to offer an HIV test to patients presenting with a STI.