Clinical burden of viral sexually transmitted infections in adolescents and young adults with HIV attending an urban clinic in sub-Saharan Africa

Christine Katusiime*

Viral sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are highly prevalent among people infected with HIV. Diagnosis of viral STIs in sub-Saharan Africa is still a challenge because of the high viral test costs involved and as a result, no published data exist on the burden of viral STIs among ALHIV and YALHIV in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to provide data on the clinical burden of viral STI consultations among ALHIV and YALHIV in a resource-limited setting. Overall, 165 HIV positive adolescents and young adults accessed treatment from our transition STI program. Eightyone (49.1%) patients were diagnosed with viral STIs. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection was the predominant viral STI (70.4%) followed by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection (Condylomata acuminata) (35.8%) and Molluscum contagiosum (MCV) (4.9%). Clinically diagnosed herpes simplex viral infections were the predominant sexually transmitted infection in our adolescent and young adult HIV cohort in a large urban HIV clinic in sub-Saharan Africa. Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for the presence of genital HSV infections among symptomatic HIV positive adolescents and young adults. Opportunities directed at developing single, dual or multiple point-of-care viral STI testing in line with diagnosing asymptomatic viral STIs in this population should be explored.