Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) expedite the transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. Masvingo province is among the top three provinces with high Genital Ulcer Disease incidence rates in Zimbabwe. There has been no documented evidence to establish the burden and epidemiology of STIs in Masvingo province. We analysed STI surveillance data to describe trends in STIs by age, sex, district and HIV uptake among STI patients from 2012-2015. A retrospective records review of Masvingo STI/HIV data set was conducted. We assessed trends in STIs from 2012-2015. Microsoft Excel 2010 software was used to generate bar and linear graphs. Epi info 7TM was used to calculate residuals and p values.
Most affected age group was 25-49 years (incidence rate of 73.9 cases per 1000). The 50 and above age group had a higher incidence rate than the 10-24 year age group (27.5 compared to 15.5 cases per 1000). STI incidence was higher in females (31.9 cases per 1000) than males (20.6 cases per 1000). The most prevalent STIs were vaginal discharge 48 972(30.7 %) and other forms of STIs 35 777(22.3%). Masvingo district recorded the highest STI incidence rate (34.1 cases per 1000). There was a decline in HIV testing rates from 36(100%) to 12190(64.4%) (p<0.001) from 2012-2015. There was a general decline in the STI trends for all age groups. Age group most affected by STIs was the 25-49 years with females being more affected. HIV testing services among STI clients declined. We recommend advocacy on safe sexual practices and further research to identify reasons for low uptake of HIV testing services among STI clients.
Keywords: Sexually transmitted illnesses; Incidence; Masvingo