Urogenital schistosomiasis in women of reproductive age in Tanzania's Lake Victoria region

Jennifer A. Downs, Charles Mguta, Godfrey M. Kaatano, Katrina B. Mitchell, Heejung Bang, Harusha Simplice, Samuel E. Kalluvya, John M. Changalucha, Warren D. Johnson, Daniel W. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


We conducted a community-based study of 457 women aged 18 - 50 years living in eight rural villages in northwest Tanzania. The prevalence of female urogenital schistosomiasis (FUS) was 5% overall but ranged from 0% to 11%. FUS was associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2 - 13.5) and younger age (OR = 5.5 and 95% CI = 1.2 - 26.3 for ages < 25 years and OR = 8.2 and 95% CI = 1.7 - 38.4 for ages 25 - 29 years compared with age > 35 years). Overall HIV prevalence was 5.9% but was 17% among women with FUS. We observed significant geographical clustering of schistosomiasis: northern villages near Lake Victoria had more Schistosoma mansoni infections (P < 0.0001), and southern villages farther from the lake had more S. haematobium (P = 0.002). Our data support the postulate that FUS may be a risk factor for HIV infection and may contribute to the extremely high rates of HIV among young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-369
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Medicine(all)


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