Use of modern and traditional products to self-treat symptoms of sexually transmitted infections in South African women

Beksinska, M E; Smit, J; Scorgie, F; Dube, S; Kunene, B; Martin-Hilber, A; Chersich, M (2010). Use of modern and traditional products to self-treat symptoms of sexually transmitted infections in South African women. International journal of STD & AIDS, 21(12), pp. 797-801. London: Sage 10.1258/ijsa.2010.010252

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The objective of the study is to investigate products used by women self-treating symptoms of reproductive tract infections (RTIs), including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and their methods of administration. A household survey using a multi-stage cluster sample design was undertaken in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Women aged 18-60 years were interviewed (n = 867) and information was collected on demographics, reproductive health and sexual behaviours. A fifth of women reported having RTI/STI symptoms (20.5%), of whom 41.9% were treating these symptoms (mostly discharge [79.1%], ulcers [6.8%] and itching [7.7%]). Only three women were using medication prescribed by a health provider, while the remainder were self-treating using traditional medicines and modern products, including antiseptics, soaps, petroleum jelly, menthol creams and alum. Products were administered in various ways. Although RTI/STI treatment is widely available and free in public health facilities, many women are still self-treating. Potential harm of products for self-treatment requires further investigation and efforts should be made to improve STI service uptake.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Martin Hilber, Adriane

ISSN:

0956-4624

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:10

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 19:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1258/ijsa.2010.010252

PubMed ID:

21297085

Web of Science ID:

000288297600002

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/1436 (FactScience: 203076)

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