To determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other reproductive tract infections (RTIs) among pregnant women in Moshi, Tanzania and to compare the occurrence of STIs/RTIs among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and uninfected women.
Pregnant women in their 3rd trimester (N = 2654) were recruited from two primary health care clinics between June 2002 and March 2004. They were interviewed, examined and genital and blood samples were collected for diagnosis of STIs/RTIs and HIV.
The prevalence of HIV, active syphilis and herpes simplex virus – type 2 (HSV-2) were 6.9%, 0.9% and 33.6%, respectively, while 0.5% were positive for N gonorrhoeae, 5.0% for T vaginalis and 20.9% for bacterial vaginosis. Genital tract infections were more prevalent in HIV-seropositive than seronegative women, statistically significant for syphilis (3.3% vs 0.7%), HSV-2 (43.2% vs 32.0%), genital ulcers (4.4% vs 1.4%) and bacterial vaginosis (37.2% vs 19.6%). In comparison with published data, a declining trend for curable STIs/RTIs (syphilis, trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis) was noted.
Rates of STIs and RTIs are still high among pregnant women in Moshi. Where resources allow, routine screening and treatment of STIs/RTIs in the antenatal care setting should be offered. Higher STIs/RTIs in HIV-seropositive women supports the expansion of HIV-counseling and testing services to all centers offering antenatal care. After identification, STIs/RTIs need to be aggressively addressed in HIV-seropositive women, both at antenatal and antiretroviral therapy care clinics.