ArticleSexually transmitted infection

Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Haiti

The etiology of vaginal symptoms in rural Haiti

Claire C Bristow, Tania Desgrottes, Lauren Cutler, David Cutler, Karthika Devarajan, Oksana Ocheretina, Jean William Pape and Jeffrey D Klausner

Int J STD AIDS OnlineFirst, published on December 18


Background: Vaginal symptoms are a common chief complaint amongst women visiting outpatient clinics in rural Haiti.
Methods: A systematic sample of 206 consecutive women over age 18 with gynecological symptoms underwent gynecologic examination and laboratory testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV infection, trichomoniasis, candidiasis, and bacterial vaginosis.
Results: Among 206 women, 174 (84%) presented with vaginal discharge, 165 (80%) with vaginal itching, 123 (60%) with vaginal pain or dysuria, and 18 (9%) with non-traumatic vaginal sores or boils. Laboratory results were positive for Chlamydia trachomatis in 5.4% (11/203), syphilis in 3.5% (7/202), HIV in 1.0% (2/200), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in 1.0% (2/203). Among those that had microscopy, hyphae suggestive of candidiasis were visualized in 2.2% (1/45) and no cases of trichomoniasis were diagnosed 0% (0/45). Bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed in 28.3% (13/46). The prevalence of chlamydia was 4.9 (95% CI: 1.3–17.7) times greater among those 25 years of age and under (10.8%) than those older (2.3%).
Conclusions: Chlamydia and bacterial vaginosis were the most common sexually transmitted infection and vaginal condition, respectively, in this study of rural Haitian adult women. The higher risk of chlamydia in younger women suggests education and screening programs in young women should be considered.

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