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Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases: a randomised community trial.
  1. L Meyer,
  2. N Job-Spira,
  3. J Bouyer,
  4. E Bouvet,
  5. A Spira
  1. INSERM U 292 (Santé Publique, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a programme for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases which affect fertility. DESIGN OF THE PREVENTION PROGRAMME--The programme took place in six French geographical departments. Three of these, randomly selected, served as experimental departments while the other three were matched with the first three and served as controls. DESIGN OF THE EVALUATION--Genital discharge was used as the indicator of a sexually transmitted disease. In each department, about 40 voluntarily participating general practitioners (263 in total) gathered information on the frequency of infected patients and on their characteristics, both before and after the campaign. PATIENTS--Before and after the programme respectively, 412 and 288 women and 117 and 94 men with a genital discharge were described. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--After the programme, tests for chlamydia trachomatis were prescribed more often to both women and men with a discharge in the experimental departments. The characteristics of women having consulted a general practitioner with a discharge differed according to the department group studied. In the experimental departments, the women were younger than those in the control departments and had fewer sexual partners. In contrast to the results obtained for women, no behavioural changes were observed among men with a discharge. CONCLUSIONS--The results may indicate a decreased risk in spread of infection. Methodological problems associated with such a design are discussed. There is a need to develop specific messages aimed at changing male sexual behaviour. The study design has implications for the best strategy in delivering prevention messages to the general population which are relevant to the present AIDS epidemic.

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