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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.
Frequency of sexually transmitted infections and related factors in Pweto, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of genital ulcer and urethral discharge in Pweto, Democratic Republic of Congo, and to analyze the association between the estimated prevalence and age, marital status, profession, and number of sexual partners. METHODS: We performed a descriptive cross-sectional study through a survey conducted in May 2004 in a representative sample of 106 men in Pweto aged between 15 and 65 years old, with a precision of 9.5%. Questionnaire items about current or previous ulceration and urethral discharge where self-reported and referred to the previous year as of the date of the survey. To study the associations, crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) were calculated using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: The prevalence was 39.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30-49) for urethral discharge and 33% (95%CI, 24-42) for genital ulcer. Soldiers were identified as a risk group independently of age, the number of sexual partners during the previous year, and marital status. The multivariate analysis showed an adjusted OR of 3.25 (95%CI, 1.10-9.95) (p < 0.05) for the frequency of urethral discharge in soldiers compared with other professions. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in Pweto and the associated factors identified prompted the initiation of a controlled condom donation program for soldiers. In conflict situations with a high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and lack of health services, humanitarian aid organizations should implement prevention activities focused on risk groups.