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Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and related factors among female prisoners in Tehran, Iran

Behnam Farhoudi (Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Amir-al-Momenin Hospital, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran)
Elnaz Shahmohamadi (Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
SeyedAhmad SeyedAlinaghi (Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Zohreh Rostam Afshar (Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Zohal Parmoon (Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Pegah Mirzapour (Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
SeyedAlireza Nadji (Virology Research Center, National Institutes of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Fatemeh Golsoorat Pahlaviani (Health and Treatment Directorate of Prisons and Security and Corrective Measures Organization, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran)
Mehrzad Tashakorian (Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Article publication date: 29 December 2022

9

Abstract

Purpose

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be transferred from one person to another through sexual contact. STIs lead to substantial morbidity and mortality and affect many different aspects of human life, including quality of life, sexual health, reproductive health and even the health of newborns and children. Despite of high rates of STIs in prisons, there are not sufficient screening, prevention and treatment programs to control STIs transmission among prisoners in Iran. This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of STIs among incarcerated women in Iran for the first time, using the active case finding strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a cross-sectional study conducted on 438 incarcerated women in a prison in Tehran, Iran, from 2017 to 2018. A total of 438 prisoners were screened by active case findings for STI symptoms, then evaluated by complete genital and anal examination, followed by molecular testing.

Findings

A total of 189 (43.2%) prisoners announced vaginal discharge, while 194 (44.3%) individuals had vaginal discharge in the genital examination. In the cervical examination, 137 individuals (31.3%) had abnormal findings, of which 83 (18.9%) individuals had cervicitis, 40 (9.1%) individuals had cervical erosion, 38 (8.7%) individuals had cervical prolapse and 17 (3.9%) individuals had bleeding originated from the cervix.

Originality/value

This study showed that it is possible to set up a system in which the diagnosis, follow-up and treatment of prisoners with STIs can be actively performed. Educating prisoners about signs and symptoms, risk behaviors and prevention routes of STIs, as much as regular screening of prisoners, and adequate treatment can help control the STIs prevalence among prisoners and in the general population.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank all staff in the prisons for their help. This study was supported by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences with code: 99–1-119–48219 and the ethics code: IR.TUMS.IKHC.REC.1399.126.Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Citation

Farhoudi, B., Shahmohamadi, E., SeyedAlinaghi, S., Rostam Afshar, Z., Parmoon, Z., Mirzapour, P., Nadji, S., Golsoorat Pahlaviani, F. and Tashakorian, M. (2022), "Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and related factors among female prisoners in Tehran, Iran", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-09-2022-0055

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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