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Sexually transmitted infections in Bangladeshis resident in the UK: a case-control study

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and mode of presentation in patients originating from Bangladesh and resident in the United Kingdom in comparison with non-Bangladeshi patients attending an inner London genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.

Methods: A retrospective, cross sectional study with comparator group was carried out at an open access GUM clinic in east London. 104 consecutive newly attending Bangladeshi men were compared with 199 consecutive newly attending non-Bangladeshi men and 115 consecutive newly attending Bangladeshi women were compared with 218 consecutive newly attending non-Bangladeshi women. Any diagnosed sexually transmitted infections, sexual history characteristics, reasons for presentation, and referral patterns were noted.

Results: Bangladeshi men (28.8% compared with 7.5%; p<0.0001) and women (42.7% compared with 12.8%; p<0.0001) were more likely to be referred by their general practitioners or other medical services. Bangladeshi men were more likely to present with sexual dysfunction (12.5% compared with 2.5%; p=0.001). The prevalence of STIs was broadly similar across the study groups; however, syphilis was significantly more common in the Bangladeshi men (10.9% compared with 4%; p=0.04) and non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) in the control men (35% compared with 20.2%; p=0.02). Bacterial vaginosis was an infrequent diagnosis in the Bangladeshi women (3.5% compared with 22.4%; p<0.0001).

Conclusions: STI prevalence in Bangladeshis attending GUM services is similar to other populations although patterns of presentation and referral do show variation. Bangladeshi men are more likely to access GUM clinics for psychosexual services. The presence of STIs in Bangladeshis particularly those imported from Bangladesh provides an opportunity for HIV transmission between the United Kingdom and Bangladesh.

  • sexually transmitted infections
  • Bangladeshis
  • United Kingdom

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