Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among married women in rural Nepal
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInfectious diseases in obstetrics and gynecology. 2018, 2018:4980396 . 10.1155/2018/4980396
Introduction. We have previously determined the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among women in rural Nepal. In the current study, we also wanted to examine the prevalence of and risk factors for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the same population. Methods. Population-based study of nonpregnant women ≥ 15 years who were married or had a history of marriage in the past, residing in five rural villages in Nepal. Data on sociodemographic characteristics, reproductive history, and genitourinary symptoms were collected, and a gynecological examination was conducted. Cervical samples were analyzed by real-time PCR for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Trichomonas vaginalis and HPV, and a serum sample was analyzed for syphilis, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV infection by serology. Results. Of 2416 eligible women, 62% participated. Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia trachomatis infection, HPV and HBV infection, and syphilis were detected in 5.4%, 0.8%, 14.3%, 0.3%, and 0.2% of the women. None had gonorrhea or HIV infection. Of those with genitourinary symptoms, 6.3% had a curable STI. Vaginal discharge classified as abnormal by gynecological examination, but not self-reported discharge, was significantly associated with laboratory diagnosis of a curable STI. Risk factors for trichomoniasis were reproductive age and high cast/ethnicity. Due to low prevalence, risk factors for other STIs could not be disclosed. Conclusion. We observed high prevalence of HPV infection followed by trichomoniasis, while other STIs were rare among women in rural Nepal. There was no association between genitourinary symptoms and laboratory-confirmed STIs.