Prevalence of Sexually transmitted infections in females attending community health centres in the rural area of Dehradun, India
Keywords:Community Health Centres, Bacterial Vaginosis, Candidiasis, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae
Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reproductive tract infections (RTIs) are major public health concerns, particularly among women. Aims & Objectives: The primary aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the prevalence of laboratory-confirmed RTIs/STIs in a sample of 228 self-reported females aged 14-55 visiting community health centers. Additionally, the study sought to explore the correlation between these infections and clinical features. Material & Methods: The study included 228 females aged 14-55 visiting the STI clinic in Doiwala Block, Dehradun. Vaginal/cervical swab and blood specimens were collected after obtaining informed written consent. Specimens were processed at HIMS using standard microbiological methods to diagnose various STDs. Results: The study found that 50% of females attending community health centers had laboratory-confirmed RTIs/STIs. Bacterial vaginosis was the most prevalent infection (25.9%), followed by candidiasis (24.6%), Trichomonas vaginalis (2.6%), and syphilis (1.3%). Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis were not detected. Notably, there was a significant association between the prevalence of RTI/STI and the literacy status, occupation, and socioeconomic status of the respondents. Conclusion: This study highlights a high prevalence of RTIs/STIs among females in a rural area of Doiwala Block, Dehradun. Bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis were the most common infections. The findings underscore the importance of targeted interventions and education to address this public health issue, particularly among women with lower socioeconomic status and literacy levels.
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