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Acceptability and Utilisation of Services for Voluntary Counselling [corrected] and Testing and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Kahsey Abera Hospital, Humera, Tigray, Ethiopia.OBJECTIVES: A study was conducted to assess the acceptability and utilization of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) services in Kahsey Abera Hospital, Humera. METHODS: Retrospective data was taken from hospital consultation logbooks from January 2002 to February 2003, and focus group discussions were conducted in March 2003 in the community. RESULTS: While the services were known and utilization is increasing, important misconceptions about the medical services, disease transmission, and STI treatment persist. Although hospital care was generally considered of high quality, persons often go to pharmacies to self-treat for STIs due to concerns about confidentiality, and the stigma of HIV deters many from wanting to know their serostatus. CONCLUSIONS: Additional education is needed on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and the medical services provided. Education may make use of community health workers or outreach workers in a small group where participants can feel comfortable to ask sensitive questions. HIV/AIDS treatment is planned for the near future and may be significant in reducing HIV/AIDS stigma.
HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2002.OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers (FSWs) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2002. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted among FSWs presenting for the first time at the STI clinic of Matonge, Kinshasa. The women were interviewed about sociodemographic characteristics, type of sex work, and sexual behavior. Blood was taken for HIV, syphilis, and herpes simplex virus type 2 serology. Vaginal secretions were collected on swabs for the diagnosis of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. RESULTS: The overall HIV prevalence was 12.4% but varied within the different categories of FSWs: 11.8% in hotel-based, 24.0% in home-based, and 20.0% in street-based FSWs; 10.0% in homeless FSWs; and 6.6% in Masquées (clandestine sex workers). The overall herpes simplex virus type 2 seroprevalence was 58.5%. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of HIV and other STIs seems to have stabilized since the beginning of the project in 1988.