Background: The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of gonorrhoea and chlamydial infections and to determine sexual and demographic correlates for these sexually transmitted diseases (STD) among visitors of an STD clinic.
Methods: In 1994, a cross-sectional study was carried out among 2984 consecutive visitors of the STD clinic of the University Hospital Rotterdam.
Results: The prevalence of chlamydial infection was 12.1% for women and 12.3% for men. For gonorrhoea, prevalence was 3.2% and 6.0%, respectively. For men, gonorrhoea was independently associated with multiple partners in the last month, homosexual activities, a history of gonorrhoea, last sexual contact in the past 4-14 days and casual partners. In contrast, chlamydial infection was less likely to be found in homosexual men and male intravenous drug users. Additionally, chlamydial infection was independently associated with young age, multiple partners in the last 6 months and with last sexual contact in the past 2 months. For women, intravenous drug use (associated with commercial sex work) and a history of trichomoniasis were independent risk factors for gonorrhoea. Independent risk factors for chlamydial infection in women were: young age, two or three sexual partners during life and last sexual contact within 2 months. Chlamydial infection was uncommon in commercial sex workers.
Conclusions: The differences in the epidemiological correlates suggest that chlamydial infection is more diffusely spread into the general population than gonorrhoea. Additionally, it is hypothesized that men acquire their chlamydial infection through less stable relationships and subsequently infect their regular female partner.