Background: The epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV in Vanuatu is poorly defined.
Goal: The goal was to determine the prevalence of laboratory-confirmed gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, syphilis seroreactivity, and HIV among pregnant women in Vila, Vanuatu.
Study design: A cross-sectional survey of 547 pregnant women attending a first-visit antenatal hospital clinic in Vila. Laboratory testing included polymerase chain reaction on tampons for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis; testing of sera for syphilis with rapid plasmid reagin; and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for HIV.
Results: The prevalence of trichomoniasis was 27.5% (150); of chlamydia, 21.5% (117); of gonorrhea, 5.9% (32); and of syphilis, 13 (2.4%). No HIV cases were detected; 214 women (40%) had > or =1 STI. Young age and single marital status were both significantly associated with infection (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Chlamydial infection and trichomoniasis are hyperendemic among pregnant women in Vila. Young, single women are at greatest risk for infection.