Background: A syndromic approach has been advocated for identification and management of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in countries where diagnostic laboratory tests are not consistently available. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted to discover 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 women (17.6%) than in men (8.4%). The highest prevalence (16.2%) was observed in the age group 30–34 years followed by 35–39 years (14.7%). The commonest syndrome in women was vaginal discharge (16.0%) while in men the commonest syndrome was dysurea (1.8%).
Conclusion: The low level of STD syndromes among tribal populations offers an opportunity to prevent a potential epidemic in this disadvantaged community. As no baseline data are available, the findings form the basis for future work in this area.
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