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The Prevalence of Syphilis Infection and Its Associated Factors in the General Population of Rwanda: A National Household-Based Survey
Background: The prevalence of syphilis among HIV-infected people is a public health concern, but there is limited literature to describe the true burden of syphilis in resource-limited settings. We conducted this survey in 2013 to estimate the prevalence of syphilis. Methods: A cross-sectional survey. Participants were tested for syphilis and HIV. Factors associated with syphilis infection were identified. Results: The prevalence of syphilis was 0.9% (95% CI: 0.7–1.1). This prevalence was higher in the 25–49-year-old age (1.1% [95% CI: 0.8–1.3]) than in the 15–24-year-old age (0.6% (95% CI: 0.4–0.9)). Women with lower education had a higher prevalence of syphilis (1.2% (95% CI: 0.9–1.5)) compared to others (0.4% (95% CI: 0.2–0.8)). This prevalence among HIV-infected people was six times higher: 4.8% (95% CI: 2.9–7.9) compared to HIV-negative people (0.8% (95% CI: 0.6–1.0)). The prevalence of syphilis among HIV-infected females was 5.9% (95% CI: 3.4–10.0). HIV-infected or concurrent sexual partners was associated with increased syphilis prevalence with aOR = 4.2 (95% CI: 2.5–7.2) and aOR = 4.2 (95% CI: 2.8–6.5), respectively. Conclusions: The prevalence of syphilis was significantly higher among HIV-infected patients. HIV infection and concurrent sexual partners are associated with an increased prevalence of syphilis. Preventing HIV might help in preventing syphilis.
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