Prevalence Surveys of Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Seafarers and Women Attending Antenatal Clinics in Kiribati: 2002-2003
A cross-sectional sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence survey was conducted by the Ministry of Health, Kiribati, in conjunction with the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and with technical and financial support of WHO. A total of 386 seafarers recruited in Tarawa from January 2003 to July 2003, and 269 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics, recruited in Tarawa from February 2003 to August 2003, participated in the survey. All eligible participants gave written informed consent.
A high prevalence of chlamydial infection was observed among seafarers coupled with a low use of condoms with sexual partners both in Kiribati and overseas. This survey also suggests that hepatitis B is endemic in Kiribati in individuals aged 17 years and older. The high rates of treatable STI indicate that diagnostic, treatment and surveillance components of STI control programmes need to be strengthened in Kiribati.