Background: Understanding the underlying epidemiology that shapes Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC), and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections can contribute to data driven policies directed towards curbing the proliferation of these pathogens in Ghana. Information on the symptoms and risk factors for STIs will help to identify high-risk individuals which will in turn inform STI syndromic management and tailor the use of public health resources. Methods: Participants were from 4 military clinics and 1 civilian STI clinic in Ghana and eligible if they had symptoms suggestive of STI. First void urine samples were collected and tested with Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). A structured questionnaire was administered to all participants. Multivariate logistic regression identified factors associated with infection, separately for NG and for CT and for men and women. Results: A total of 950 patients, 58% of whom were females were enrolled, 28% had gonorrhea and 11% had chlamydia with more males testing positive than females. Reported symptoms that were more common among patients who tested positive for gonorrhea were painful urination and urethral discharge (all P values < 0.05). Additionally, multiple sexual partners and alcohol use were statistically associated with higher rates of gonorrhea in males while only the frequency of condom use was associated with gonorrhea for females. None of the symptoms or risk factors except marital status was associated with testing positive for chlamydia. Conclusion: Identifying these symptoms and risk factors help inform health care delivery systems for STIs in Ghana. Furthermore, men and women presenting with these symptoms and risk factors are a prime target for public health education campaigns, aimed at curbing the spread of gonorrhea and chlamydia infections.
- Risk factors