Table 3 Summary of epidemiological data on classical STI prevalences from surveys of the general population and women attending antenatal, family planning and child immunisation clinics in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal, % (95% CI)
Data collection year and population characteristicsMean age (range)SexnNGCTTVReference
Serological TP (TPHA+/RPR⩾1:1)High titre active TP (TPHA+/RPR⩾1:8)
Median female prevalence (range):
    AllF5.8 (4.0 to 10.0)10.0 (6.4 to 13.5)8.5 (2.0 to 11.9)
    1987–1995F5.7 (4.9 to 5.8)8.9 (6.4 to 11.4)11.9 (8.5 to 11.9)
    1996–2004F6.9 (4.0 to 10.0)10.9 (7.4 to 13.5)29.4 (15.8 to 36.8)7.0 (2.0 to 8.5)3.2 (2.0 to 3.6)
1987, peripheral hospital ANC in Empangeni26 (15 to 42)F1935.7 (2.9 to 10.0)*11.4 (7.3 to 16.7)†11.9 (7.7 to 17.3)15
1995, general population in R Hlabisa28 SD = 9.4M902.3 (0.3 to 8.2)‡5.6 (1.8 to 12.5)‡9.3 (4.1 to 17.5)16
F1405.8 (2.6 to 11.2)‡6.4 (3.0 to 11.9)‡8.5 (4.4 to 14.3)
1995, ANC in HlabisaF3274.9 (2.8 to 7.8)*8.9 (6.0 to 12.5)†11.9 (8.6 to 15.9)Sturm, personal communication, 2005
1996, 4 ANCs (serving 1 TC, 1 PU, 2 R) in Hlabisa25 SD = 6.6F2717.8 (4.9 to 11.6)*12.9 (9.2 to 17.5)†8.4 (5.5 to 12.5)17
1997§, Hlabisa hospital FP serving a TC25 SD = 6.0F1894.2 (1.8 to 8.2)*7.4 (4.1 to 12.1)†7.9 (4.5 to 12.8)19
1998/00, all Hlabisa sub-district ANCsF4743.6 (2.1 to 5.7)¶18
1999, ANC at KwaMsane in Hlabisa sub-district, serving R & PU KzN27 SD = 5.4F2456.9 (4.1 to 10.9)**11.0 (7.4 to 15.6)**31.8 (26.1 to 38.1)††6.1 (3.5 to 9.9)2.0 (0.7 to 4.7)Unpublished, Moodley, 2005
1999/00, ANC recruited for neonatal outcome follow-up at KwaMsaneF65010.0 (7.8 to 12.6)*9.1 (7.0 to 11.6)†Unpublished, Moodley, 2005
2002, ANC in HlabisaF4494.0 (2.4 to 6.3)**10.9 (8.2 to 14.2)**26.9 (22.9 to 31.3)††2.0 (0.9 to 3.8)20; Sturm, personal communication, 2005
2003, FP/IMM at 3 clinics in Hlabisa sub-district‡‡29 (15–49)F3465.6 (3.4 to 8.6)**7.4 (4.8 to 10.7)**15.8 (12.1 to 20.1)††3.2 (1.6 to 5.7)Unpublished, McGrath, 2005
2004§, ANC at KwaMsane PHC in Hlabisa sub-district25 SD = 6.0F1857.6 (4.2 to 12.4)§§13.5 (8.9 to 19.3)¶¶36.8 (29.8 to 44.1)***21
  • Unadjusted for sample and diagnostic differences. Black horizontal line shows the timing of the introduction of syndromic STI treatment services.

  • *Culture on swabs; †immunofluoresence on swab ‡LCR on urine; §year published; ¶RPR⩾1:8 only, estimated from published data; **strand displacement assay; ††PCR; ‡‡a predominately HIV uninfected and low mobility population enrolled in microbicide feasibility study; §§culture and molecular methods on tampon and swab and urine; ¶¶molecular methods on tampon and swab and urine; ***culture and molecular methods on tampon and urine.

  • ANC, antenatal clinic; CT, Chlamydia trachomatis; F, female; FP, family planning clinic; HD, Haemophilus ducreyi; HSV-2, herpes simplex virus type 2; IMM, child immunisation clinic; KzN, KwaZulu-Natal; LGV, Lympho-granuloma venereum; M, male; NG, Neisseria gonorrhoeae; PU, peri-urban; R, rural; RPR, rapid plasma reagin; SD, standard deviation; STI, sexually transmitted infection; TC, trading centre; TP, Treponema pallidum; TPHA, Treponema pallidum haemoagglutination assay; TV, Trichomonas vaginalis.