Demographic and Behavioural Factors in Tanzanian and Norwegian Patients with Sexually Transmitted Infections
Arvid Nilsen, Davis Mwakagile, Guerino Chalamila, Nina Langeland, Roald Matre and Lars Haarr
To evaluate whether differences in demographic or behavioural factors might explain differences in reported or diagnosed sexually transmitted infections (STI), we have compared data from 1097 Tanzanian and Norwegian STI patients. Most demographic data were similar, whereas some behavioural data differed. Norwegian patients reported significantly higher numbers of sexual partners than Tanzanian. Thirty-three percent of Tanzanian patients tested positive for HIV antibodies, females more often (43%) than males (26%). Approximately one-third and two-thirds of the female HIV-positive Tanzanian STI patients had already seroconverted at the age of 25 and 30 years, respectively. The national differences encountered probably reflect cultural differences, different panoramas of STI and a lower accessibility to optimal health services in Tanzania. Lack of expected statistical associations between some of the data in the Tanzanian STI group might question the validity of the retrospectively collected data in this group, or indicate that questions not included in the questionnaire might be of importance. "