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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Chlamydia trachomatis Infection Among Young Thai Men in 2008–2009

Jatapai, Anchalee PhD*; Sirivongrangson, Pachara MD, MPH; Lokpichat, Somchai MSc; Chuenchitra, Thippawan PhD; Nelson, Kenrad E. MD§; Rangsin, Ram MD, MPH, DrPH

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: March 2013 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 241–246
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31827e8de4
Original Study

Background Asymptomatic Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection and other sexually transmitted infections in men potentially contribute significantly in sustaining the spread of the infection. To describe the distribution and related sexual behaviors, we conducted a cross-sectional study among young Thai men using a (1:30) systematic sampling of all newly inducted military conscripts in Thailand.

Methods In November 2008 and May 2009, participants’ urine and serum samples were tested for CT and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction technique, and serologic testing for Treponema pallidum and HIV-1 was done. Information on demographic data and risk behaviors was obtained by a self-administered questionnaire.

Results The overall prevalence rates of CT, N. gonorrhoeae, HIV-1, and syphilis infection were 7.9%, 0.9%, 0.5%, 0.05%, respectively. The risk factors for CT infection were living in the upper north region (adjusted rate ratios [95% confidence interval], 2.13 [1.39–3.26]), having had 4 or more sexual partners (2.14 [1.48–3.09]), graduation from a vocational school (1.66 [1.14–2.41]), inconsistent condom use (1.48 [1.05–2.08]), unemployment (1.82 [1.06–3.12]), and age 21 years or younger (1.63 [1.01–2.63]).

Conclusions The prevalence of CT infection among young male military conscripts was high, especially among men from upper northern Thailand. Multiple sexual partners, graduation from a vocational school, inconsistent condom use, unemployment before the military induction, and younger age were independently associated with the CT infection among young Thai men. These data will be useful to develop more effective public health interventions to prevent, detect, and treat sexually transmitted infections among young men in Thailand.

Chlamydia trachomatis infection was the most prevalent of sexually transmitted infections among young men, especially in upper Northern, Thailand.

From the *Research and Development Office, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand; †Bureau of AIDS/TB/STIs, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand; ‡Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; §Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; and ¶Department of Military and Community Medicine, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand

The authors acknowledge the collaboration of the military hospitals, the Royal Thai Army, and all participants. The authors thank COL Chaiyaphruk Pilakasiri and CPT Wes McCardle for reviewing the manuscript.

Supported by the National Institute of Health (No. 5R01TW006972-04) and Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Correspondence: Ram Rangsin, MD, MPH, DrPH, Department of Military and Community Medicine, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine., 315 Ratchawithi Rd, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand. E-mail: rrangsin@pmk.ac.th.

Received for publication May 18, 2012, and accepted November 2, 2012.

© Copyright 2013 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association