The World Health Organization refers to HIV as a global epidemic. By 2018, an estimated 37.9 million individuals throughout the world were infected with this sexually transmitted disease. Among people aged between 15 and 49, an estimated 0.8% are currently infected with HIV. Researchers are constantly trying to find ways to improve preventative strategies currently used to reduce the prevalence of HIV. New studies now suggest that Mycoplasma Genitalium, a bacteria transmitted through sexual intercourse, may increase a person’s risk of HIV infection.
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What Is Mycoplasma Genitalium?
Mycoplasma Genitalium is a term that describes a specific type of bacteria. The bacteria cause an infection to develop in a person’s body. The bacteria were first identified only a few decades back, in 1980.
People infected with the Mycoplasma Genitalium bacteria are at risk of developing inflammatory conditions. These inflammatory conditions tend to contribute to problems with the reproductive tract. The bacteria can also cause inflammatory problems to develop with the genitals.
Some inflammatory conditions already associated with the Mycoplasma Genitalium infection include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Treatment is generally considered relatively straightforward for Mycoplasma Genitalium. When a person is infected with this bacterium, they will usually be able to recover with a course of the right antibiotics. This is a curable sexually transmitted infection.
The Link Between Mycoplasma Genitalium And HIV
Several studies have already looked at how Mycoplasma Genitalium bacteria may have a connection with HIV.
The results are currently somewhat mixed.
In one study, data from an outpatient clinic were analyzed. Data were collected for periods between 2002 and 2005. No significant difference was found in HIV positive patients when the researchers looked at the presence of the Mycoplasma Genitalium infection.
Some of the more recent studies provide the opposite results, however. A publication in the Journal of Infectious Diseases is an excellent example. In this study, a number of Zimbabwean women were analyzed. The idea was to see if there is any type of connection between genital HIV and Mycoplasma Genitalium infections.
The researchers behind the study concluded that there does seem to be an association between the two sexually transmitted diseases. Specifically, the presence of Mycoplasma Genitalium infection seems to increase a patient’s risk of being infected with Genital HIV Type 1 RNA. While further studies may still be needed, this particular publication does provide evidence of an increased risk for HIV among patients with a Mycoplasma Genitalium infection.
Connection Between Mycoplasma Genitalium And HIV
HIV is considered an epidemic throughout the world. Millions of people are infected with HIV. The disease can significantly affect a person’s expected lifespan. Exposure to the Mycoplasma Genitalium bacteria may cause an increased likeliness of being infected with HIV. Studies have confirmed this association. Researchers also confirmed that Mycoplasma Genitalium might be a more common STD than chlamydia in some populations.