A Syndemic Approach to Explore Factors Associated with Bacterial Vaginosis

Ana S. Salazar, Nicholas F. Nogueira, Violeta J. Rodriguez, Alejandro Mantero, Emily M. Cherenack, Patricia Raccamarich, Marissa Maddalon, Theodora Brophy, Emily Montgomerie, Nichole Klatt, Deborah L. Jones, Maria L. Alcaide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common genital infection in women and is associated with an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV. This study uses a syndemic approach to evaluate factors associated with BV. Non-pregnant, HIV-negative, sexually active, cis-gender women aged 18–45 years living in Miami, Florida were recruited from Nov.2018- Jun.2021. Participants completed a sociodemographic and behavioral questionnaire along with gynecological examinations. BV was diagnosed by Amsel criteria and confirmed by a Nugent score ≥ 4. A syndemic score was calculated as the sum of factors associated with BV. The association between syndemic score and BV was assessed using logistic regression. Of 166 women included, 60.2% had BV. Race, ethnicity, education, vaginal sex, recent cannabis use, and reasons for intravaginal practices were included in the syndemic score. Higher odds of BV were found in women with a score of ≥ 3 compared to women with a score of 0/1. A higher syndemic score was associated with increased odds of having BV. Multilevel interventions to decrease BV are needed to decrease women’s risk of acquiring HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • HIV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Syndemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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