Sexually Transmitted Infections And Reproductive Health In Azerbaijan.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and about sexual and reproductive health in Central and Eastern Europe. However, it is clear that major epidemics of STIs currently exist. GOAL: To provide baseline information for the development of national guidelines on the management of STIs in Azerbaijan. STUDY DESIGN: A prevalence study on STIs, including a questionnaire on sexual and reproductive health, in two regions of Azerbaijan targeted three groups: (1) pregnant women, (2) gynecology patients, and (3) men attending a dermatovenereology clinic. RESULTS: The 407 pregnant women in this study had a mean of 1.47 abortions and 1.40 births per woman. Of these women, 12% reported condom use and 41% previous symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection. Active syphilis was found in 1.7% of the women. The 326 gynecology patients had a mean of 2.54 abortions and 2.63 births per woman. Of these patients, 11% reported use of modern contraceptives, 18.3% previous condom use, and 63% previous symptoms of an STI. The prevalence of active syphilis was 2.2%, Chlamydia trachomatis 3.1%, Neisseria gonorrhoeae 2.8%, Trichomonas vaginalis 7.1%, Candida 33.1%, and bacterial vaginosis 32.5%. Of the 197 male patients, 67% reported multiple partners in the past 3 months, 62% money exchanged for sex, 37% condom use ever, and 40% a history of STIs. Active syphilis was found in 9.5% of the men, C trachomatis in 5.9%, N gonorrhoeae in 17%, and T vaginalis in 4.4%. CONCLUSIONS: The data show high-risk behavior in the men attending STI clinics, poor sexual and reproductive health status in the women, and underreporting of official data.