Volume 62, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A study was conducted to determine the prevalence rate and risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in Haiti's rural Artibonite Valley. Women attending antenatal services at Hospital Albert Schweitzer from October to December 1996 were tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Of the 476 women tested, 121 (25.4%) had trichomonas, 11/475 (2.3%) had gonorrhea, 51/475 (10.7%) had chlamydia, 32/474 (6.8%) were seropositive for syphilis, 20/469 (4.3%) were seropositive for HIV, and 191 (40.1%) had at least one STD. Nearly 30% of the women reported having entered a sexual relationship out of economic necessity and had increased odds of HIV infection, Odds Ratio (OR) 6.3 (P < 0.001). We postulate that due to recent economic hardship in rural Haiti, women are entering into sexual relationships out of economic necessity and that this trend is contributing to the growing HIV epidemic. We recommend STD prevention and development programs that target young people and economically disadvantaged women.


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