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Sex Transm Infect. 2008 Jun;84(3):192-4. doi: 10.1136/sti.2007.028126. Epub 2008 Feb 27.

Risk behaviour, healthcare access and prevalence of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in a population-based sample of adults in Barbados.

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Family Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine and Research, The University of the West Indies, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Martindales road, Barbados.



To estimate the prevalence of urogenital infection with Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in people 18 to 35 years of age in Barbados, and to examine factors associated with infection.


Cross-sectional survey of randomly selected people from the voters' register of one electoral district and the collection of urine samples for testing by PCR.


The response rate was 82%; 408 people (195 males and 213 females) completed a questionnaire and had their urine collected. 397 urine samples were satisfactorily tested. Prevalence of C trachomatis urogenital infection was 11.3% (95% CI +/-2.9) and N gonorrhoeae 1.8% (95% CI +/-1.2) with 12.6% (95% CI +/-3.1) having either or both infections. The difference in prevalence by gender was not significant. Multivariate logistic regression showed that prevalence of C trachomatis and/or N gonorrhoeae decreased with increasing age (per year OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.96, p = 0.001), and decreasing time (</=6 months vs >6 months) since last medical consultation (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.88, p = 0.02). Most (76%) infected people were asymptomatic. Condom use at last intercourse with a partner not being lived with was not protective (reported by 52%, p = 0.617). The usual source of health care was evenly distributed between the public and private sectors and was not associated with infection. Only 30% of people had ever heard of chlamydia, whereas 92% were aware of gonorrhoea.


Asymptomatic infection with C trachomatis is an important reservoir of infection, which will remain undetected unless physicians and young people are made aware of this and screening is introduced.

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