Roumyana Benedict
Project Director, Canadian Society for International Health
1 Nicholas St., Suite 1105
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7
Tel: 613-241-5785 ext 307
Fax: 613-241-3845

Canada-funded STI Study First Of Its Kind in Guyana

Georgetown – July 2, 2004 – The Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), in partnership with Guyana’s National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) and CAREC, is excited to announce the launch of the first comprehensive study of the prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Guyana.

To be officially launched at 10:30 AM on July 9 at the Emba-Sea Hotel, the study will measure the occurrence in regions 3, 4, 6 and 10 of several major STIs, including Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. An estimated 300 patients will be enrolled in the study, which is expected to last until December of this year. From this sample, scientists will be able to estimate the prevalence of sexual diseases in the four examined regions, identify some of the behavioural factors which might be associated with the detection of these diseases, and determine which treatments are most effective in the Guyanese context.

Knowledge of the Guyanese STI scenario is important for combating the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Patients with STIs in Guyana have a demonstrated high prevalence of HIV infection. In male and female STI patients in 1997, the seroprevalence of HIV was 25% and 18% respectively. In 2003, 31% of STI patients tested at the Genito-Urinary Medicine clinic in Georgetown were co-infected with HIV.

Since there are significant differences in the way STIs are managed in Guyana, the environment is ideal for the emergence of multiple resistant strains of STI pathogens. The study hopes to measure the extent of this emergence, and possibly to suggest strategies for improving disease management.

This study represents the first ever broad-based baseline measurement of Guyana’s STI burden. Moreover, it represents an important marriage between science and policy, as the evidence gleaned from this investigation will allow NAPS and MOH to make the STI control programme more efficient and effective.

Suzanne Marquis
Project Field Manager
Canadian Society For International Health
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) PSU
Georgetown, Guyana

The protocol for this study can be viewed (in PDF format) here: STDProtocol.pdf.