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Design of a Community-Based Study of Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV and Infertility in an Urban Area of Northern Tanzania

Larsen, Ulla PhD*; Mlay, Joseph MD; Aboud, Said MS; Ballard, Ronald PhD§; Sam, Noel E. MD; Shao, John F. MD; Kapiga, Saidi H. MD

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: January 2007 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 20-24
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000218878.29220.8e

Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the design of a community-based study of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV and infertility in northern Tanzania.

Study Design: Households were selected using a 2-stage sampling design. Eligible women and their partners were interviewed before samples were collected for STIs/HIV detection. Posttest counseling and treatment for STIs and infertility were provided.

Results: A total of 2019 women and 794 male partners were interviewed. Over 70% of interviewed women and men provided blood and urine samples. Individuals providing blood and urine samples had high-risk profiles for STIs/HIV when compared with others who did not provide these samples. Although the study results may be affected by selection bias, risk factors for STIs/HIV were similar to those in other studies supporting the generalizability of the findings.

Conclusions: It is feasible to conduct a community-based survey, including collection of biomarkers and measurement of infertility, in this urban setting.

This is a description of a community-based survey, including collection of blood and urine samples for sexually transmitted infections/HIV testing and measurement of infertility in Moshi Urban District in northern Tanzania.

From the *University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland; †Mbeya Referral Hospital, Tanzania; the ‡National Bureau of Statistics, Tanzania; the §Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; ∥Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania; and ¶Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

The authors acknowledge the support they received from the municipal office in Moshi as well as from the individual ward and street leaders. The authors also thank all the survey enumerators, the NBS staff, laboratory and clinical staff at KCMC and CDC, and the many others involved in this project. Lastly, the authors are, in particular, grateful to all the respondents who consented to participate and shared their personal experiences on a range of sensitive issues.

This study was supported by NIH/NICHD, RO1 HD41202.

Correspondence: Ulla Larsen, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, 2112 Art-Sociology Building, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail:

Received for publication November 4, 2005, and accepted March 7, 2006.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association