Document Type

Article

Department

Community Health Sciences

Abstract

Objective: To determine knowledge, attitude and practices regarding sexually transmitted infections in district Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan.DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY: A needs assessment study employing a community based survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussions was conducted in all seven sub-districts of the district. This paper is based on the results of the key informant interviews and the focus group discussions. Thirty interviews and six group discussions were held with members of the community and with the health care providers.Results: There was little awareness regarding causes and prevention of sexually transmitted infections in the community. The situation was slightly better among health care providers. While health care providers believed that the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections is high, the community did not consider themselves at risk. The community believed that these diseases are a problem among a sub-population of male adolescents, especially those who have homosexual relations. However, due to social norms, they rarely discussed such health problems with other family members or elders. Adolescents with any sexual health problems visit hakims and quacks. The community was aware about aetiology and some of the risk factors associated with AIDS and hepatitis, most probably due to the recent public health campaigns against both diseases.CONCLUSION: Considering the suspected high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and the relative lack of knowledge, it is imperative that a public health intervention be initiated. This must include educating not only the community but also the health workers. The governments' initiative to train community workers in reproductive health is a step in the right direction.

Publication

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

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