Syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydial infection among women undergoing legal or illegal abortion in Maputo

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Our objectives were to compare the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 103 women undergoing induced legal abortion (LA) and in 101 women with confirmed, recent illegal abortion (IA), in Maputo, Mozambique. For the purpose of this study, LA was considered the abortion provided in the Maputo Central Hospital with the approval of the Ministry of Health, and IA the one not provided through the approved facility, mentioned above. Women with IA were recruited in the outpatient gynaecology ward and women with LA in the emergency gynaecology ward in the Maputo Central Hospital, during the same time period. Serological tests for syphilis (rapid plasma reagin, ELISA-IgC and fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption), gonorrhoea (indirect haemagglutination) and chlamydia (microimmunofluorescence) were carried out. Direct immuno-fluorescence for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis antigen was done on endocervical smears from all the women. The prevalence of syphilis seropositivity in IA women is twice that of LA women (odds ratio [OR] 2.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55-9.95), with 10.9% and 4.9%, respectively. Exposure to gonorrhoea in these 2 groups is similar (OR 1.18; 95% CI 0.63-2.20), with seroprevalence of 31.1% in the LA and 34.7% in the IA group. The high titres are also similar in both groups. Serology findings for C. trachomatis indicate prevalence of seropositivity of 40.6% in the LA and 44.4% in the IA group with no significant difference (OR 1.17; 95% CI 0.64-2.13). In conclusion, STIs are highly prevalent in both IA and LA groups in Maputo. Urgent interventions are needed to reduce their prevalence and consequently their adverse consequences.


  • F Machungo
  • G Zanconato
  • Kenneth Persson
  • I Lind
  • B Jorgensen
  • B Herrmann
  • S Bergstrom
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Infektionsmedicin


Sidor (från-till)326-330
TidskriftInternational Journal of Std and Aids
Utgåva nummer5
StatusPublished - 2002
Peer review utfördJa