To determine the percentage of mixed sexually transmitted infections in a high risk sample population of men and women, urethral and endocervical swabs were collected from 200 men with urethritis and 200 women with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Cell cultures, plate culture and microscopy were used to detect the presence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes simplex virus (HSV). Serological tests were used to screen for syphilis (Rapid Plasma Reagin-Becton Dickinson) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (Determine, Abbott, USA). The results revealed that 95% of male participants had a urethral infection and 81% of female participants had an endocervical infection. In men, N. gonorrhoea (84%) was the major causative organism followed by Chlamydia trachomatis (65.5%). The most frequently occurring causative organism in women was C. trachomatis (72%) followed by N. gonorrhoeae (22%). The sample population revealed high rates of sexually transmitted infections. There were significant associations between STIs and continued high risk sexual practices in men and women. These findings support the need for studies that confirm the percentage of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) using clinical laboratory tests.
Key words: Sexually transmitted infections, human immunodeficiency virus, sexual risk, endocervical, urethral.