, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 169-174
Date: 03 Dec 2010

Surveillance of sexually transmitted infections among persons living with HIV

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Surveillance of sexually transmitted infections (STI) among HIV patients in AIDS Reference Centers aims at identifying risk groups and detecting specific STI emerging in this population.


Seven of the nine AIDS Reference Centers in Belgium participate in this surveillance. The reported STI include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Lymphogranuloma venereum, hepatitis B virus and newly acquired hepatitis C in men who have sex with men (MSM).


In 2008, 252 HIV patients (250 men, 2 women) were reported with a new STI episode. Sexual orientation was known for 245 men: 241 were MSM, 4 were heterosexual men. In total, 279 new STI episodes were reported. More than half of the diagnoses were syphilis. In 78% of the syphilis cases, the motive of the consultation was not related to an STI complaint.


The results underline the importance of regular STI screening among HIV-positive persons, and show a particular sexual health problem among MSM. We estimate that the proportion of HIV-positive MSM acquiring an STI in 2008 was 8.8%.