Patterns of disease and HIV testing at sexually transmitted disease clinics

N Z Med J. 1997 Dec 12;110(1057):452-5.


Aim: To measure the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and of HIV testing in a population of STD clinic attenders and the associations of these with age, gender, ethnicity, intravenous drug use, sexual practices and other STDs.

Methods: The study population comprised 8478 new attenders who had blood taken at STD clinics in Auckland and Christchurch between August 1991 and August 1992. Demographic and behavioural information was recorded, along with STD diagnoses and whether or not an HIV test was carried out. These data were analysed by univariate and multivariate methods to determine patterns of disease and voluntary HIV testing.

Results: The proportions of the study group with each of the six major STD diagnoses were syphilis 0.8%, gonorrhoea 3.1%, chlamydial infection 11.7%, nonspecific urethritis/cervicitis 12.0%, genital warts 17.4% and genital herpes 6.1%. Gonorrhoea and chlamydial infection were significantly correlated. Both Maori and Pacific Islands ethnicity were significantly associated with the occurrence of bacterial STDs and inversely associated with viral STDs. Twenty-two percent of subjects had voluntary HIV testing at this single visit. Maori were tested at 60% of the European rate and Pacific Islands people at 25-30%.

Conclusions: The profiles of different STDs vary in terms of the sociodemographic and behavioural characteristics of those most often affected. There are major differences in patterns of disease and service use between ethnic groups that require further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / complications
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / ethnology