Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J STD AIDS. 1994 Sep-Oct;5(5):332-7.

Seroprevalence and incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in a rural Ugandan population.

Author information

  • 1Medical Research Council (UK) Programme on AIDS in Uganda, Entebbe.


The aim of the study was to determine in a rural population the age- and sex-specific prevalence and incidence rates of serological reactivity of 5 common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their association with HIV-1 antibody status. Of the adult population of two villages (529 adults aged 15 years or more) 294 provided an adequate blood specimen both on enrollment and at 12 months. The sera were tested at 3 collaborating laboratories for antibodies against HIV-1, Treponema pallidum, Haemophilus ducreyi, Chlamydia trachomatis and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). A sample of 45 children were tested for HSV-1 and HSV-2. Seroprevalence rates in adults on enrollment were 7.8% for HIV-1, 10.8% for active syphilis, 10.4% for H. ducreyi, 66.0% for C. trachomatis, 91.2% for HSV-1 and 67.9% for HSV-2. Males were significantly more likely than females to be seropositive for H. ducreyi (15.6% versus 6.6%), but less likely to be HSV-2 antibody positive (57.0% versus 74.4%). Reactivity to H. ducreyi, C. trachomatis and HSV-2 rose with increasing age. In contrast, active syphilis showed no age trend. All STDs tended to be more common in those HIV-1 seropositive. Incidence rates over the 12 months were nil for HIV-1, 0.5% for syphilis, 1.2% for H. ducreyi, 11.3% for C. trachomatis, and 16.7% for HSV-2. The results of this exploratory study indicate that all STDs included are common in this rural population. The high HSV-2 prevalence rate among adolescents suggests that HSV-2 may be an important risk factor for HIV-1 infection.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


A seroprevalence survey conducted in rural Uganda revealed a high potential for interaction between sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Venous blood samples were collected at baseline and one year later from 294 randomly selected adults aged 15 years or over from two neighboring villages. At baseline, 23 (7.8%) adults were HIV-positive; no seroconversion occurred during the one-year study period. STD prevalence rates were 10.8% for syphilis, 10.4% for Hemophilus ducreyi, 66.0% for Chlamydia trachomatis, and 91.2% for HSV-1 and 67.9% for HSV-2. More females (74.4%) than males (57.0%) were HSV-2 antibody-positive. Reactivity to H. ducreyi, C. trachomatis, and HSV-2 rose with increasing age, but there was no such trend for syphilis. HIV prevalence rates were 0.0% among those with no serologic evidence of previous STDs, 2.6% among those with one or two prior STDs, and 20.0% among those with three or four STD markers. Of particular concern was the high rate of HSV-2 prevalence among adolescents (85% among females aged 20-24 years and 82% in males aged 25-29 years). It is suggested that age-specific HSV-2 seroprevalence can provide an accurate marker of premarital sexual activity among Ugandan adolescents since it lacks the potential for bias associated with self-reporting in this population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk