Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among pregnant women with known HIV status in northern Tanzania

Sia E Msuya1,2,4 email, Jacqueline Uriyo1,4 email, Akhtar Hussain1 email, Elizabeth M Mbizvo1,5 email, Stig Jeansson3 email, Noel E Sam4 email and Babill Stray-Pedersen2 email

1Department of International Health, Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

2Department of Obstetric and Gynecology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

3Department of Microbiology, Ullevaal University Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

4Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania

5Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Harare, Zimbabwe

author email corresponding author email

Reproductive Health 2009, 6:4doi:10.1186/1742-4755-6-4

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received: 24 October 2008
Accepted: 25 February 2009
Published: 25 February 2009

© 2009 Msuya et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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.

The complete article


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