• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of straninfSexually Transmitted InfectionsVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Sex Transm Infect. Oct 2003; 79(5): 382–387.
PMCID: PMC1744739

Baseline survey of sexually transmitted infections in a cohort of female bar workers in Mbeya Region, Tanzania


Objectives: To determine baseline prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and other reproductive tract infections (RTI) and their association with HIV as well as sociodemographic and behavioural characteristics in a newly recruited cohort of female bar workers in Mbeya Region, Tanzania

Methods: 600 female bar workers were recruited from 17 different communities during September to November 2000 and underwent gynaecological examination, laboratory testing for HIV/STI, and interviews using structured questionnaires.

Results: HIV-1 seroprevalence was 68%. Prevalences of STI/RTI were high titre syphilis (TPPA/RPR [gt-or-equal, slanted]1/8), 9%; herpes simplex virus 2 antibodies, 87%; chlamydia, 12%; gonorrhoea, 22%; trichomoniasis, 24%; and bacterial vaginosis, 40%. HIV infection was associated with TPPA and HSV-2 seropositivity, bacterial vaginosis and clinically diagnosed genital ulcers, blisters, and warts. Reported high risk sexual behaviour during the past year (having multiple casual partners) was associated with prevalent STI.

Conclusion: Female bar workers in Mbeya are at high risk of STI and HIV infection. Targeted STI/HIV prevention interventions for these women and their sexual partners need to be reinforced. Methods should be sought to improve healthcare seeking and to provide easily accessible and affordable STI care services.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (238K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Nkya WM, Gillespie SH, Howlett W, Elford J, Nyamuryekunge C, Assenga C, Nyombi B. Sexually transmitted diseases in prostitutes in Moshi and Arusha, Northern Tanzania. Int J STD AIDS. 1991 Nov-Dec;2(6):432–435. [PubMed]
  • Nugent RP, Krohn MA, Hillier SL. Reliability of diagnosing bacterial vaginosis is improved by a standardized method of gram stain interpretation. J Clin Microbiol. 1991 Feb;29(2):297–301. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Orle KA, Gates CA, Martin DH, Body BA, Weiss JB. Simultaneous PCR detection of Haemophilus ducreyi, Treponema pallidum, and herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 from genital ulcers. J Clin Microbiol. 1996 Jan;34(1):49–54. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fonck K, Kaul R, Kimani J, Keli F, MacDonald KS, Ronald AR, Plummer FA, Kirui P, Bwayo JJ, Ngugi EN, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of monthly azithromycin prophylaxis to prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV-1 in Kenyan sex workers: study design and baseline findings. Int J STD AIDS. 2000 Dec;11(12):804–811. [PubMed]
  • Lankoandé S, Meda N, Sangaré L, Compaoré IP, Catraye J, Sanou PT, van Dyck E, Cartoux M, Sankara O, Curtis V, et al. Prevalence and risk of HIV infection among female sex workers in Burkina Faso. Int J STD AIDS. 1998 Mar;9(3):146–150. [PubMed]
  • Ramjee G, Karim SS, Sturm AW. Sexually transmitted infections among sex workers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Sex Transm Dis. 1998 Aug;25(7):346–349. [PubMed]
  • Morris M, Podhisita C, Wawer MJ, Handcock MS. Bridge populations in the spread of HIV/AIDS in Thailand. AIDS. 1996 Sep;10(11):1265–1271. [PubMed]
  • Lowndes CM, Alary M, Meda H, Gnintoungbé CAB, Mukenge-Tshibaka L, Adjovi C, Buvé A, Morison L, Laourou M, Kanhonou L, et al. Role of core and bridging groups in the transmission dynamics of HIV and STIs in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa. Sex Transm Infect. 2002 Apr;78 (Suppl 1):i69–i77. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ghebrekidan H, Rudén U, Cox S, Wahren B, Grandien M. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, and varicella-zoster virus infections in Eritrea. J Clin Virol. 1999 Jan;12(1):53–64. [PubMed]
  • Dada AJ, Ajayi AO, Diamondstone L, Quinn TC, Blattner WA, Biggar RJ. A serosurvey of Haemophilus ducreyi, syphilis, and herpes simplex virus type 2 and their association with human immunodeficiency virus among female sex workers in Lagos, Nigeria. Sex Transm Dis. 1998 May;25(5):237–242. [PubMed]
  • Ghys PD, Diallo MO, Ettiègne-Traoré V, Yeboué KM, Gnaoré E, Lorougnon F, Kalé K, Van Dyck E, Brettegaard K, Hoyi YM, et al. Genital ulcers associated with human immunodeficiency virus-related immunosuppression in female sex workers in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. J Infect Dis. 1995 Nov;172(5):1371–1374. [PubMed]
  • Kaul R, Kimani J, Nagelkerke NJ, Plummer FA, Bwayo JJ, Brunham RC, Ngugi EN, Ronald A. Risk factors for genital ulcerations in Kenyan sex workers. The role of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Sex Transm Dis. 1997 Aug;24(7):387–392. [PubMed]
  • Taha TE, Hoover DR, Dallabetta GA, Kumwenda NI, Mtimavalye LA, Yang LP, Liomba GN, Broadhead RL, Chiphangwi JD, Miotti PG. Bacterial vaginosis and disturbances of vaginal flora: association with increased acquisition of HIV. AIDS. 1998 Sep 10;12(13):1699–1706. [PubMed]
  • Hillier SL. The vaginal microbial ecosystem and resistance to HIV. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1998 Apr;14 (Suppl 1):S17–S21. [PubMed]
  • Moi H. Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and its association with genital infections, inflammation, and contraceptive methods in women attending sexually transmitted disease and primary health clinics. Int J STD AIDS. 1990 Mar;1(2):86–94. [PubMed]
  • Schwebke Jane R, Weiss Heidi L. Interrelationships of bacterial vaginosis and cervical inflammation. Sex Transm Dis. 2002 Jan;29(1):59–64. [PubMed]
  • Rugpao S, Nagachinta T, Wanapirak C, Srisomboon J, Suriyanon V, Sirirojn B, Chaiyarassamee O, Prasertwitayakij W, Celentano DD, Nelson KE, et al. Gynaecological conditions associated with HIV infection in women who are partners of HIV-positive Thai blood donors. Int J STD AIDS. 1998 Nov;9(11):677–682. [PubMed]
  • Weinhardt LS, Forsyth AD, Carey MP, Jaworski BC, Durant LE. Reliability and validity of self-report measures of HIV-related sexual behavior: progress since 1990 and recommendations for research and practice. Arch Sex Behav. 1998 Apr;27(2):155–180. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Steen R, Vuylsteke B, DeCoito T, Ralepeli S, Fehler G, Conley J, Bruckers L, Dallabetta G, Ballard R. Evidence of declining STD prevalence in a South African mining community following a core-group intervention. Sex Transm Dis. 2000 Jan;27(1):1–8. [PubMed]

Articles from Sexually Transmitted Infections are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...