Background The indigenous population presents cultural, socioeconomic characteristics that increases its vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections, like syphilis and HIV.
Methods Cross-sectional descriptive study, with confidential linked serological tests for HIV and Syphilis, carried out in three geographical areas of Paraguay (Chaco, Center-eastern and metropolitan Area) during 2011. A probabilistic, stratified, two-stage cluster samplingwas carried out. Syphilis was tested with Rapid Test and VDRL. HIV included ELISA and Western Blot for confirmation.
Results one thousand three hundred twenty two indigenous participants were surveyed, sixty three % were female,fifty five 55%less than thrirty five35 years old. Syphilis prevalence was 9.7% (IC95%: 8.2 – 11.5) and that of HIV 0.4% (IC95%: 0.40 – 1.0). There was a difference between those diagnosed with HIV < 25 years old: 0.6%(IC 0.5 – 1.2) and > 25 years old: 0.3% (IC 0.3 – 0.8). Differences in syphilis prevalence among men (10.1%) and women (9.7%) weren´t significant (p = 0.83).Seventy five 75% of the population initiated sexual relations < fifteen 15 years old. Condom use was 5.9%.twenty one 21.2% reported having more than two sexual partners in the past year; in indigenous population < 25twenty five years old: 6.3% and > 25 years old: 7.2% identified correctly the ways of preventing HIV infection and rejected erroneous ideas on the transmission of the virus.
Conclusions Syphilis prevalence is higher in natives than that of the general population of Paraguay; however, the HIV prevalence is similar. The low percentage of use of condom and knowledge of the syphilis and HIVare related factors that indicate the need of an urgent intervention from the national authorities to break the chain of transmission of STI in this population.
- native population