Objective: To describe the rationale, and design of a randomized trial of the impact of improved services for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) on the incidence of HIV infection in Mwanza Region, Tanzania.
Methods: The likely impact of improved STD treatment services on HIV incidence, and the need for empirical information on the effectiveness of this intervention strategy, are discussed. The rationale, and design of such an intervention programme in Mwanza Region, and of a community-randomized trial to measure the impact of the programme on HIV, and other STD, are presented. Problems in the design, and interpretation of the trial are reviewed.
Results: Results of the baseline survey of the cohort of over 12000 adults in 12 communities are presented in a companion paper.
Conclusion: There is an urgent need for effective preventive measures against the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and other developing regions. Improved STD treatment has been promoted as a potentially effective strategy, but there is little empirical information on its impact. The trial in Mwanza Region is the first randomized study of this intervention, and should provide valuable data for health policy makers.
(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.