[Chronic genital ulcerations and HIV infection: 29 cases].Med Trop (Mars). 1999; 59(3):279-82.MT
Genital ulcers are common manifestations of infectious disease. The incidence of genital ulcers featuring a chronic course has increased since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. The purpose of this 18-month cross-sectional study was to determine the main infectious causes of chronic genital ulcers (CGU) and their correlation with HIV infection. A total of 29 patients with CGU defined as an ulcer showing no sign of healing after more than one month were studied. Mean age ranged from 24 to 54 years. The male-to-female sex ratio was 1:5. The etiology was herpes in 19 cases (65.5 p. 100), chancroid in 6 cases (20.6 p. 100), streptococcal infection in 2 cases (6.8 p. 100), Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in 1 case (3.4 p. 100) and cutaneous amibiasis in 1 case (3.4 p. 100). Twenty-two patients (75.8 p. 100) presented HIV infection including 16 with HIV1 and 6 with HIV1 and HIV2. All patients with herpes were HIV-positive. Eighteen of these patients were in stage C3 of HIV infection. Genital herpes was the main etiology of UGC in patients with HIV infection (p < 0.001). Conversely chancroid was the main etiology in patients without HIV infection (p < 0.05). This finding suggests that herpetic CGU is highly suggestive of AIDS whereas chancroid CGU is not. Although syphilis is widespread in Africa, it was not a cause of CGU in this study. Search for herpes simplex virus or Haemophilus ducreyi in patients with CGU is an important criteria for presumptive diagnosis of AIDS in Africa.