Background: Syndromic approach has been advocated for identification and management of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in countries where diagnostic laboratory tests are not consistently available. A community based cross sectional study was conducted to know the prevalence of STD syndromes in tribal population of central India.
Methods: All married men and women in the age group of 15-49 years from selected villages were enumerated by house to house visit. Individuals were interviewed using pre-coded, pre-tested questionnaires about STD Syndromes of urethral discharge, vaginal discharge, dysurea, genital ulcer, inguinal swelling, scrotal swelling and lower abdominal pain.
Results: Of the 2568 individuals interviewed, 326 (12.7%) had at least one STD Syndrome. The prevalence was almost double in females (17.6%) as compared to males (8.4%). Highest prevalence (16.2%) was observed in the age group 30-34 years followed by 35-39 years (14.7%). The commonest syndrome in females was vaginal discharge (16.0%) while in males the commonest syndrome was dysurea (1.8%).
Conclusion: The low level of STD syndromes among tribal population offers an opportunity to prevent a potential epidemic in this disadvantaged community. As no baseline data is available, the findings form the basis for future work in this area.