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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

On-line version ISSN 1806-4841


MIRANDA, Angélica Espinosa et al. Risk factors for syphilis in young women attending a family health program in Vitória, Brazil. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2012, vol.87, n.1, pp.76-83. ISSN 1806-4841.

BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of STDs among women indicates the need to implement approaching techniques, case detection and prevention of new cases. OBJECTIVES: To describe the frequency of risk factors for syphilis and assess attitudes towards sexual risk in a population of young women in Vitória, ES. METHODS: Cross-sectional, population-based study, performed in Vitória. Interviews were held and VDRL and MHA-TP were investigated in blood samples. RESULTS: Among the 904 eligible women (18-29 years) sampled from the Family Health Program (FHP), 11 were diagnosed with syphilis, a prevalence of 1.2% (CI95% 0.5-1.9). Median age was 23 years (interquartile range 20-26 years); 65.7% of participants were in high school or college and 85.4% lived with their family or sexual partner. Factors associated with syphilis included: lower educational level (<8 years of schooling) [Adjusted Odds Ratio aOR=4.3 (CI 95% 1.01-17.99)]; >1 lifetime sexual partners [(aOR) =6.50 (CI95% 1.37-30.82)], and history of a previously diagnosed STD [aOR=10.3 (CI95% 2.37-44.33)]. Two thirds (67.7%) of the women surveyed agreed that it is not easy to tell their sexual partner they do not want to have sex without condoms; 52.3% thought it is difficult to use condoms in all sexual intercourses, and 36.2% said they cannot do anything if their partner refuses to use condoms. CONCLUSIONS: Using the FHP as an approach to perform routine VDRL can contribute to decreasing the vulnerability of these women and help control congenital syphilis.

Keywords : Family health program; Risk factors; Sexually transmitted diseases; Syphilis; Treponemal infections; Women's health.

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