High prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in young women seeking HIV testing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Robert L CookMauro Schechter


Few data are available on the prevalence of and risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) other than HIV in Brazil. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV infection and other STDs in Brazilian women who seek HIV testing, investigate risk factors for these infections, and assess feasibility of screening in HIV test clinic settings. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 200 women, aged 14 to 29 years, who attended an HIV testing site in central Rio de Janeiro. Participants completed a questionnaire and received testing for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. HIV and other STDs were common (HIV 8%, syphilis 6.5%, chlamydial infection 8%, and gonorrhea 9.5%). HIV was significantly associated with lower education and with having an HIV-infected partner. Other STDs were significantly associated with younger age at first intercourse, heavy alcohol consumption, and marijuana use. STDs appear to be substantial health problems among young Brazilian women seeking HIV testing. HIV testing sites in Brazil should consider offering screening and treatment for STDs and substance abuse as part of their HIV prevention services.


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Related Concepts

Urgent Care Centers
Prevalence Studies
Health Care Seeking Behavior
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
HIV Infections
Women's Health

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