Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Prevalence of RTI/STI agents and HIV infection in symptomatic and asymptomatic women attending peripheral health set-ups in Delhi, India

K. RAYa1 c1, M. BALAa1, M. BHATTACHARYAa2, S. MURALIDHARa1, M. KUMARIa1 and S. SALHANa3

a1 Regional STD Teaching, Training & Research Centre, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

a2 Department of Community Health Administration, NIHFW, New Delhi, India

a3 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

SUMMARY

The study was carried out in symptomatic and asymptomatic women attending peripheral health centres to determine the laboratory prevalence of sexually transmitted infection (STI), reproductive tract infection (RTI) and HIV. A total of 4090 women in four study groups were subjected to general and speculum examination and screened for aetiological agents of RTI/STI by standard laboratory techniques. The main complaint was vaginal discharge, singly (11·2%) or along with other symptoms (49·0%). Prevalence of RTI/STI/HIV infection was 36·8%. Agents of RTIs were harboured by 24·3% and that of STIs by 12·5%. HIV seroprevalence was very low (0·1%). HSV-2 represented the commonest aetiological agent of STIs, suggesting the necessity of including anti-HSV treatment in the national syndromic management guidelines. The present study highlights the importance of routine RTI/STI screening of antenatal mothers to avoid adverse consequences to the unborn child, and periodic surveys to detect the infection pattern in symptomatic and asymptomatic women, in order to control HIV infection.

(Accepted November 01 2007)

(Online publication December 17 2007)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Professor K. Ray, M.D., 2240, Sector C Pocket 2, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-100070, India. (Email: drkray@yahoo.com)

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