Prevalence and risk factors for self-reported sexually transmitted infections among adults in the Diepsloot informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa

Tariro J Basera, Simbarashe Takuva, Keith Muloongo, Ndumiso Tshuma, Peter Nyasulu

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    Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a significant cause of morbidity among sexually active adults with multiple consequences including enhancing HIV transmission.

    Objective: To determine the prevalence of self-reported sexually transmitted infections and associated risk factors among adults in Diepsloot informal settlement, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Design: This is a cross sectional study involving secondary analysis of data collected in a survey among adults living in Diepsloot in 2013. Data from 3953 respondents was analysed. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the association between selfreported STI status and socio-demographic and clinical characteristics.

    Results: Of the 3953 participants, 2481 (62.8%) were female. Self-reported prevalence of STIs was 20.4% (n=808). Among the study participants, 815 (25.9%) people were HIV positive and of these 19.9% reported an STI. Being single [Odds Ratio (OR) 1.82, (95% CI 1.08, 3.05)], prior exposure to gender based violence or sexual assault (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.39, 3.63), alcohol use (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.04, 2.16), and having not utilised healthcare services in the past 2 years (OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.44, 3.68) were associated with increased odds of self-reporting an STI. HIV negative status was associated with reduced odds of self-reporting an STI (OR = 0.26, 95% CI 0.14, 0.50)

    Conclusion: The estimated prevalence of self-reported STIs among adults aged 20 to 82 years in Diepsloot, indicates a substantial burden of STIs in this population. The close connection between HIV status, history of gender based violence/sexual assault and utilisation of healthcare services underscore the need to scale up behavioural interventions coupled with targeted screening of at risk populations to simultaneously reduce the occurrence of genderbased violence and prevent the transmission of STIs including HIV.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number539
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of AIDS & Clinical Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


    • Sexually transmitted infections
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Diepsloot
    • informal settlement
    • South Africa

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