Objectives: To determine the prevalence of STIs and HIV among men attending an outreach STI/HIV screening service in informal settlements in South Africa over a three month period.
Methods: A mobile clinic van was utilised to offer men a) urine screening for gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, chlamydial and M. genitalium infections, b) serological screening for syphilis and HSV-2, and c) on-site HIV voluntary counselling and testing. Urethritis pathogens were detected by molecular methods. HIV serostatus was determined using rapid tests. Demographic, sexual behaviour and clinical data were recorded on a nurse-administered questionnaire. Statistical analysis utilised the Chi-squared test.
Results: 309 men attended the service; 304 (98%) requested serological screening for syphilis and HSV-2, 301 (97%) underwent urine-based screening for urethritis pathogens and 269 (87%) had an HIV test. Over 90% of men were asymptomatic for STIs. Gonorrhoea was more prevalent in the symptomatic group (p<0.0004); there were no significant differences in the prevalence of other urethritis pathogens between the groups. The total number of infections with each urethritis pathogen was highest in the asymptomatic group with twice as much gonorrhoea, 25 times as much chlamydial infection, six times as much trichomoniasis and 9 times as much M. genitalium infection compared to the symptomatic group. The overall HIV prevalence among clinic attendees was 29.7%.
Conclusions: The uptake of both STI and HIV testing was high among the men attending the service. The relatively high burden of both STIs and HIV among the male clinic attendees has implications for the transmission of HIV.
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