Hawkes, S., Saggurti, N., Risbud, A., Schensul, S.L., Verma, R.K., Narvekar, S.S., Nastasi, B.K., Burleson, J.A.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence, assess behavioural and symptom correlates, and develop intervention strategies. Goal: The goal of this study was to conduct one of the first community-based surveys of STI prevalence and risk behaviours among married men in India. Study Design: In 2003, 2408 randomly selected married men, aged 21 to 40 years, were administered a survey instrument with urine and blood samples collected from a random subset of 641. Results: The most common current STI was gonorrhea (3.9%) with 6.1% of men being positive for an acute STI and 9.7% antibody-positive for Treponema pallidum or herpes simplex virus type 2. Risk behaviours were not associated with laboratory confirmed STIs, but did show an association with men's concerns about sexual performance derived from traditional Indian systems of medicine. Conclusion: Culturally based symptoms can serve as effective markers for men involved in risky sexual behaviours and provide an opportunity to engage these men as they seek care for these symptoms at community-based service points.