Open Access Original Research Article

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Knowledge and Perceived Prevalence of Symptoms in University Students

Henrique Pereira, Ana Carmo

International STD Research & Reviews, Page 01-11
DOI: 10.9734/ISRR/2014/6850

Background: Research addressing knowledge on sexual health, particularly of STDs risk and perceived symptoms’ prevalence, among university students around the world, and particularly in Portugal, is scarce.

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of knowledge about the perceived prevalence of STD’s and their occurrence in Portuguese university students.

Study Design: An internet based cross sectional and retrospective study was conducted.

Methodology: A total 1018 students participated (68.57% women), with a mean age of 23.57 years (SD=5.82). The instruments used were a Sociodemographic Questionnaire, the "Sexually Transmitted Disease Knowledge Questionnaire" and "Sexual Risk Behaviours Questionnaire" (male and female versions), which were disseminated on the Internet, on a page specifically created for this research, after pre-test was done and the necessary changes implemented.

Results: The results indicated that students have inadequate knowledge about the STD's, the lifelong perceived prevalence of a STD was 9.9%, and the actual perceived prevalence of symptoms associated with a STD was 16.8%. Finally, a linear regression was performed, highlighting a significant effect between the degree of knowledge about STD’s and the occurrence of a STD or symptoms, which indicates that the symptoms depend on the knowledge.

Conclusion: These results reinforce the need for investment in prevention programs, in order to increase the information and reduce infection by STDs in college students.

Open Access Original Research Article

Disparities in Sexual Activity Indicators among Youth Living in the Slums of Kampala: Comparisons with Representative National and Urban School-Attending Youth

Monica H. Swahn, Sarah Braunstein, Jane B. Palmier, Rogers Kasirye, Huang Yao

International STD Research & Reviews, Page 21-28
DOI: 10.9734/ISRR/2014/8579

Aims: This study examined the extent to which youth who live on the streets and in the slums of Kampala experience more HIV risky behaviors than representative national and urban school-attending youth.

Place and Duration of Study: Analyses were based on three cross-sectional surveys: 1. the Kampala Youth Survey (service-seeking youth living in the slums; conducted in 2011; N=457); 2. The Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS; nationally representative sample of school-attending youth, conducted in 2003; N=3,215); 3. The Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS; urban representative sample of school-attending youth, conducted in 2003; N=1,709).

Methodology: Analyses restricted to youth between ages 14-17 years assessed the differences in prevalence of sexual intercourse, age of sexual initiation, number of partners, and condom use among youth in the three surveys examined.  A z-test was used to test the significance of difference in proportions. The prevalence reported in the Kampala Youth Survey was compared to the other two surveys of school-attending youth. 

Results: The lifetime prevalence of reporting sexual intercourse was statistically significantly higher (49%) among participants in the Kampala survey compared to the youth in the GSHS National (31%) and GSHS Urban (29%) surveys. Moreover, girls in the Kampala survey reported significantly higher prevalence of sexual intercourse (49%) compared to girls in the GSHS National (23%) and GSHS Urban (22%) surveys. In terms of condom use, the youth in the Kampala survey reported using condoms less in the past year (34%) compared to the youth in the GSHS National (64%) and the GSHS Urban (60%) who reported on condom use at the time of last sexual intercourse.

Conclusion: The youth in the Kampala survey reported higher prevalence of sexual intercourse, having fewer sexual partners, and lower condom use compared to their nationally representative school-attending peers. Prevention strategies that seek to increase condom use specifically appear warranted.

Open Access Original Research Article

Risky Sexual Behaviours and Associated Factors among People with Disabilities in Dessie City

Zelalem Alamrew, Molalign Tareken, Addisu Alamirew, Getahun Asres

International STD Research & Reviews, Page 38-50
DOI: 10.9734/ISRR/2014/8918

Background: Despite the assumptions that people with disabilities are considered sexually inactive, this group of people is likely to engage in sexual risk behaviours. People with disabilities are the neglected group of population; investigating their sexual behaviour helps to design interventions by the local government and concerned bodies.  Therefore, the aim of this study was to study the prevalence and factors associated with risky sexual behaviours among people with disabilities.

Methods: Institutional based Cross-sectional study was conducted in 2013. All disabled individuals who were enrolled as a member of the disability associations in the city were included in the study. Data were collected by pre-tested structured interview questionnaires by trained data collectors. The data were coded, entered, cleaned and analyzed using univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis with SPSS version 16 soft ware package.

Results: About 301(73.1%) of the respondents were sexually debuted, of which 153(50.8%) were sexually debuted before the age of 18 years and 166(55.1%) reported that they have had more than one sexual partner in the last twelve months. Besides, 32.5% of the study participants reported to have risky sexual behaviours. The age of respondents was a statistically significant predictors of sexual behavior with [(AOR=1.5, 95%CI:0.88-2.57), (AOR=1.54, 95%CI:0.68-3.52) and (AOR=3.1, 95%CI:1.64-5.87)]. Drinking alcohol was another predictors of sexual behaviour where [(AOR=1.72, 95%CI:1.10-2.70)]. Besides educational status and family size were other significant predictors of risky sexual behaviour on multivariable logistic regression with [(AOR= 3.14, 95%CI:1.02- 9.74), AOR=6.31, 95%CI:1.78-22.31), AOR=3.30, 95%CI:1.13- 9.68), and AOR=3.28, 95%CI:1.07-10.10)] and [AOR=1.73, 95%CI:1.10-2.70)] respectively.

Conclusion: People with disabilities were engaged in sexual risk behaviour. Age, alcohol use, educational status, and family size were significant predictors of risky sexual behaviours among people with disabilities on which interventions need to be done by concerned bodies on this vulnerable group of people, especially by labor and social affairs of Ethiopia. 

Open Access Short Research Article

Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus Detection in Penile Lichen Sclerosus: An Update

Maria Rita Nasca, Francesco Lacarrubba, Gianluca Paravizzini, Giuseppe Micali

International STD Research & Reviews, Page 29-37
DOI: 10.9734/ISRR/2014/7983

Aims: Aim of this study was to better address a possible association of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection with penile lichen sclerosus (LS).

Study Design: Paraffin-embedded penile biopsies obtained from adult patients with genital LS retrieved from institutional pathology files were evaluated.

Place and Duration of Study: The study has been performed in the Dermatology Clinic of the University of Catania, Italy, spanning a 19-year period.

Methodology: We previously demonstrated a high (17.4%) HPV detection rate in a study on 46 patients with genital LS. In this retrospective analysis we extended the analysis to a larger number of patients in order to strengthen these former data. HPV infection was assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in paraffin-embedded penile biopsies obtained from the glans or inner foreskin of 92 adult patients with penile LS and in brush cytology smears of penile healthy mucosa from an equal number of randomly selected control males matched for age. Statistical evaluation was performed using conditional logistic regression analysis.

Results: PCR disclosed the presence of high risk HPV infection in 22.83% of LS patients (HPV 16:16 cases; HPV 18:1 case; HPV 31:1 case; HPV 45:2 cases; HPV 68:1 case) vs 15.21% of controls, (HPV 16:4 cases; HPV 31:1 case; HPV 53:1 case; HPV 56:1 case; HPV 68:1 case; HPV 70:1 case; HPV 81:5 cases). Statistical regression analysis confirmed that the rate of oncogenic HPV infection was higher among patients with genital LS than among healthy controls (χ2=8.26; P<.01; OR=3.59).

Conclusion: These data suggest a possible pathogenetic interplay between LS and oncogenic HPV infection in the development of LS-associated penile cancer.

Open Access Minireview Article

Recent Progress and Challenges in Combating the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Review

Jimmy Omony, Idah A. O. Orowe

International STD Research & Reviews, Page 12-20
DOI: 10.9734/ISRR/2014/7605

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has for many years devastated lives and still continues to do so in the present day. Reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS is a global concern, one that has been given vast resources, but still remains a major huddle to development to most world economies. The devastation caused by the disease is not only felt by individual families, friends and loved ones, but is also a heavy loss of human capital. Identifying the key factors that affect the spread of the disease ensures that resources and efforts are devoted to addressing those specific issues. Many factors like: irresponsible behavior and life-style, cultural practices, unsanitary medical equipments poverty and illiteracies have been long blamed for the persistence of the disease. However, none of these factors is often solely to blame for the high prevalence of HIV in some communities. Unless elaborate studies can elucidate the complex interaction between these factors and how exactly they influence the HIV dynamics, reducing the spread of the epidemic might remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. This work discusses recent progress and major challenges faced in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS. Further insight into what can be done to reduce its spread and improve the welfare and quality of life of those infected and affected by the epidemic is provided.