Author(s): Rauh VA, Culhane JF, Hogan VK
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Abstract Bacterial vaginosis (BV) remains a moderately prevalent condition with clearly observed links to adverse reproductive, gynecological, and other outcomes in women, including human immunodeficiency virus infection. Because of inconsistent findings from clinical studies concerning BV's etiologic role, no definitive policies with respect to screening and treatment have yet been established. Of concern is the high, unexplained prevalence of BV among African-American women, who are also at extremely high risk for preterm birth. The complexity of the sociodemographic picture challenges the field of public health to continue to explore the role of BV and its relationship to a whole host of social and biomedical conditions that may contribute to adverse health outcomes among society's most vulnerable members. Future decisions about screening and treatment, currently based on the biomedical model, may need to take into consideration issues of social context and expanded views of causality if we are to better understand and eliminate those factors that place individual women at risk of adverse outcomes, as well as the conditions that underlie racial and ethnic disparities in health.
This article was published in J Am Med Womens Assoc
and referenced in Journal of Womens Health Care