Objectives: To examine gender differences in sexual behaviour, the prevalence of laboratory-detected sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and self-reported genital symptoms in urban Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Study design: The data were based on a cross-sectional survey (n = 1649) of residents from low-income communities in Chennai. Data were collected during community-wide health camps comprising physical examinations, interviews and laboratory testing between March and June 2001. Results: The population was young, sexually active, with a low prevalence of STI. The most commonly detected STI was Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2; 13.2%). Women had a higher prevalence of HSV2, but were more likely than men to be asymptomatic. Most of the self-reported genital symptoms could not be linked to a laboratory-detected STI. >10% of the cohort had a history of an ulcerative STI and >5% had an inflammatory STI. Conclusions: Given a high prevalence of HSV2 in the study population, interventions targeting HSV2 transmission may be particularly relevant for this population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases