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STDS in women attending family planning clinics: a case study in Addis Ababa.


Soc Sci Med. 1997 Feb;44(4):441-54. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

For cultural reasons modern contraception has been slow to gain acceptance in Ethiopia. Knowledge about contraception and abortion is still limited in many family and community settings in which it is socially disapproved. By 1990 only 4% of Ethiopian females aged 15-49 used contraception. Little is known of sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevalence in family planning FP) attenders in Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular, even though attenders of family planning clinics (FPCs) are appropriate target groups for epidemiological studies and control programmes. A study of 2111 women of whom 542 (25.7%) attended FPCs in Addis Ababa showed utilisation rates to be highest in women who were: Tigre (33%) or Amhara (31%), aged 20-34 years 30%), age 16 or older at first marriage/coitus (28%:38% in those first married after 25 years); who had a monthly family income of 10 Ethiopian Birr (EB) or more (33%:36% for those with income 100-500 EB), three or more children (37%), more than five lifetime husbands/sexual partners (39%); or were bargirls (73%) or prostitutes (43%). The seroprevalence rates for all STDs, higher in FPC attenders compared with other women, were syphilis TPHA) 39%, Neisseria gonorrhoeae 66%, genital chlamydia 64%, HSV-2 41%, HBV 40% and Haemophilus ducreyi 20%. Only 4% of FPC attenders had no serological evidence of STD: 64% were seropositive for 3 or more different STD. Clinical evidence of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) was also more common in the FPC attenders (54%), 37% having evidence of salpingitis. The FPC provides a favourable setting for screening women likely to have high seroprevalence of STD, who for lack of symptoms will not attend either an STD clinic nor a hospital for routine check up. We recommend that measures be taken to adequately screen, treat and educate FPC attenders, their partners, and as appropriate and when possible their clients, in an attempt to control STDs and ultimately HIV in the community. Social, economic and cultural factors in the occurrence of STDs, prostitution, family planning and modern contraception coverage in Ethiopia are identified and deficiencies of current programmes briefly discussed with the objective of targeting services more effectively.

*Family Planning *Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice *Sexually Transmitted Diseases/ETIOLOGY *Urban Health


Information in this article was accurate in July 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.