Background Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV are a major public health problem in India. Syndromic management is the standard of care for STIs, therefore, there are no studies showing the current screening rates for STIs among pregnant women in India. This study examined the burden of STIs among rural pregnant women in Mysore, India.
Methods Between 2009 and 2014, a prospective cohort study was conducted among pregnant women. All women underwent an informed consent process before answering an interviewer-administered questionnaire in the local language of Kannada. The women consented to providing blood and vaginal samples for testing. All participants received routine antenatal care services and were followed-up immediately after delivery, and at 6- and 12-months after delivery. Descriptive, chi square and logistic regression analyses were computed using SPSS 23
Results The mean age of the 1,772 pregnant women were 21.1±3.2 years, 98.8% were Hindu, with 36.4% belonging to low-income households. The seroprevalence of HIV and Hepatitis B Virus was 0.4% (95%CI: 0.1–0.7) and 0.8% (95%CI:0.5–1.3) respectively. There were no cases of Syphilis. The burden of BV was 7.4% (Nugent Score: 7–10) and 11.6% for intermediate flora (Nugent score: 4–6). Approximately 8.5% had any one of the infections (HIV, HBV or BV). STIs were significantly associated with sex under the influence of alcohol (Odds Ratio[OR]: 1.59, 95%CI: 1.02–2.48) and younger age of sexual initiation (OR:0.90, 95%CI: 0.83–0.99). Nearly 36.7% of the infants had low birth weight (<2.5 kg) and 5.6% infants died before 28 days. No significant association was observed with STIs and low birth weight and infant deaths.
Conclusion The burden of being diagnosed with any STIs was relatively high at 8.5% and is associated with risky sexual practices which could inadvertently cause adverse birth outcomes. Therefore, there is an increased need for screening and active intervention targeted to rural pregnant women in India.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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