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Background: Gonorrhoea and Syphilis are common STIs, particularly among the reproductive age group in most developing countries. Their control is important considering the high incidence of acute infections, complications and their socioeconomic impact and a means of effecting control measures against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Knowledge of the prevalence and risk factors of these infections in a student residential area will enable development of better strategies for STI control.
Methods: A health facility based historical study design was conducted where laboratory records of patients screened for Syphilis and/or Gonorrhea and HIV in selected Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in Buea Health District (BHD) between 2010 and 2015 were reviewed. Data analysis was done using EPI Info version 3.5.4. with a level of error set at 5%.
Results: A total of 1106 records were reviewed. Majority 472(42.7%) were between 21-30 years old, while 923(83.4%) were females. A significant proportion 78 (8.1%) were HIV positive. The prevalence of the both STIs was highest in 2015. The prevalence of gonorrhoea was 12.9% and that of syphilis was 16.9%. The odds of testing positive for syphilis for female compared to males was 0.33 (95% CI: 0.18-0.62); p-value of 0.001, while that for gonorrhoea was 0.22 (95%CI: 0.11, 0.44); p-value of 0.0001. Patients between 21 and 30 years were 2.46 times as likely to be syphilis positive compared to those below 21. Compared to those tested positive, patients who were negative for were 3.33 (95%CI 1.66-6.69) times as likely to test negative for HIV (p value of 0.001).
Conclusion: The study revealed a high prevalence of gonorrhoea and syphilis. Although these infections have similar risk factors, there are distributed differently in the sexually active student residential area. This thus calls for the implementation of targeted screening and to revise control measures for STIs in the population.
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