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Venereology. 1998;11(1):25-7.

Sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cytology and contraception in immigrants and refugees from the former Yugoslavia.



The number of patients attending an HIV/genito-urinary clinic in London, England, who identified themselves as originating from the former Yugoslavia increased significantly from 1991-96. These refugees are considered at increased risk of tuberculosis, hepatitis B carriage, scabies, and lice infestation. A retrospective case review was conducted of the 196 such patients (117 women and 79 men); their mean age was 27.2 years. 48% of Yugoslavian refugees, compared with 30.4% of age-matched UK controls presenting to the same clinic, reported no contraceptive use. The methods most commonly selected by Yugoslavians were condoms (32.7%) and combined oral contraceptives (27.8%). 30.5% of refugee women, compared with 17.5% of controls, had never had a cervical smear; the proportions with an abnormal smear were 40% and 21.2%, respectively. 31.9% of Yugoslavian women, compared with 20.4% of controls, reported one more previous pregnancy termination. 34% of Yugoslavians and 27% of controls presented with a sexually transmitted disease (STD); the proportions with a previous STD history were 17.5% and 20.1%, respectively. Hepatitis B prevalence was similar in both groups: 11.8% and 13%, respectively. Overall, these findings indicate that refugees from the former Yugoslavia have a number of unmet sexual health needs, especially women, who have a high incidence of past induced abortion, a failure to access cervical screening programs, and a need for contraception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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