982. Partner and Relationship Characteristics Associated with Bacterial Vaginosis
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Clinical Studies of Bacterial Infection
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Room: Poster Hall B1
Background: Incident factors in the development of bacterial vaginosis (BV) are not well understood. Partner characteristics, including race and circumcision, have been suggested as possible risk factors, as have relationship characteristics, including number of sexual partners and marital status between partners.  

Methods: The BV-IDEAS study enrolls non-pregnant women from a racially diverse (18% white, 25% black, 47% Hispanic, 6% Asian) urban clinic population to evaluate a new diagnostic test for BV and to elucidate BV risk factors.  BV was assessed by Amsel criteria and Nugent score for 217 women.  Logistic regression was performed to determine characteristics (number of sex partners in the past month, condom use, partner race, income, education, health seeking behavior, patient/partner STD history, relationship to partner, and perceived monogamy) associated with BV.  Other established risk factors, including patient race and douching, were also evaluated.

Results: Partner African-American ethnicity (OR: 2.54, 95%CI: 1.32, 4.85) and perceived monogamous relationship (OR: 0.35, 95%CI: 0.16, 0.78) were the only partner/relationship characteristics significantly associated with BV by Nugent score in the bivariable analysis.  Patient African-American ethnicity (OR: 3.40, 95%CI: 1.59, 7.27) was also significant.  Douching with an irritant (soap or other product) approached significance (OR: 1.95, 95%CI: 0.96, 3.96).  The three significant variables were included in the multivariable analysis, as was douching with an irritant because it was both approaching significance and a previously described risk factor.  By multivariable analysis, monogamy (AOR: 0.30, 95%CI: 0.13, 0.72) was protective against BV and patient’s African-American ethnicity (AOR: 2.81, 95%CI: 1.07, 7.39) was a risk factor for BV by Nugent score. 

Conclusion: Being in a partnership perceived as monogamous reduces odds of BV by more than two-thirds; other partner and relationship characteristics are not significant in multivariable analysis.  Information about perceived monogamy provides more information about BV risk than number of sex partners alone.  These data are consistent with studies suggesting sexual transmission of BV.

Subject Category: C. Clinical studies of bacterial infections and antibacterials including sexually transmitted diseases and mycobacterial infections (surveys, epidemiology, and clinical trials)

Katherine J. Hensel, MPH1, Tara M. Randis, MD, MS1, Susan Whittier, PhD2, Shari E. Gelber, MD, PhD3 and Adam J. Ratner, MD, MPH1,4, (1)Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, (2)Pathology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, (3)Obstetrics & Gynecology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, (4)Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY


K. J. Hensel, None

T. M. Randis, None

S. Whittier, None

S. E. Gelber, None

A. J. Ratner, None

Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EST Thursday, Oct. 20 with the exception of research findings presented at IDSA press conferences.