In June 1989 a pilot study on the prevalence of STDs was performed at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilogwe, Malawi. Among unselected out-patients an STD prevalence of 4.4% was found. The patients were predominantly males (82.7%), the age was predominantly 20-35 yr. The distribution of the diagnoses was dominated by a relatively large proportion of "ulcer-diseases" (syphilis, chancroid and lymphogranuloma venereum) making up 67% of the patients. Almost two thirds of the patients were HIV-positive (62.4%). No significant difference was found in HIV-infection prevalence when patients with ulcer diseases were compared with patients with discharges. Among the patients with gonorrhoea a prevalence of penicillinase-producing Neisseria gonorrhoeae of 53% was found. It is concluded that a plan for the management of STDs is urgently needed as it is of paramount importance to combat STDs in order to prevent the spread of HIV-infection.
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