Sexually transmitted infections, bacterial vaginosis, and candidiasis in women of reproductive age in rural Northeast Brazil: a population-based study|
Oliveira, Fabíola Araújo; Pfleger, Viola; Lang, Katrin; Heukelbach, Jörg; Miralles, Iracema; Fraga, Francisco; Sousa, Anastácio Queiroz; Stoffler-Meilicke, Marina; Ignatius, Ralf; Kerr, Ligia Franco Sansigolo & Feldmeie, Hermann
Population-based data on sexually transmitted infections (STI), bacterial vaginosis (BV), and candidiasis reflect the epidemiological situation more accurately than studies performed in specific populations, but such data are scarce. To determine the prevalence of STI, BV, and candidiasis among women of reproductive age from a resource-poor community in Northeast Brazil, a population-based cross sectional study was undertaken. All women from seven hamlets and the centre of Pacoti municipality in the state of Ceará, aged 12 to 49 years, were invited to participate. The women were asked about socio-demographic characteristics and genital symptoms, and thereafter examined gynaecologically. Laboratory testing included polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for human papillomavirus (HPV), ligase chain reaction (LCR) for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, ELISA for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) and fluorescent treponema antibody absorption test (FTA-ABS) for syphilis, and analysis of wet mounts, gram stains and Pap smears for trichomoniasis, candidiasis, and BV. Only women who had initiated sexual life were included in the analysis (n = 592). The prevalences of STI were: HPV 11.7% (95% confidence interval: 9.3-14.7), chlamydia 4.5% (3.0-6.6), trichomoniasis 4.1% (2.7-6.1), gonorrhoea 1.2% (0.5-2.6), syphilis 0.2% (0.0-1.1), and HIV 0%. The prevalence of BV and candidiasis was 20% (16.9-23.6) and 12.5% (10.0-15.5), respectively. The most common gynaecological complaint was lower abdominal pain. STI are common in women in rural Brazil and represent an important health threat in view of the HIV pandemic.
sexually transmitted infections - reproductive tract infections - prevalence - epidemiology - Brazil