Determinants of treatment seeking behaviour for sexually transmitted infections in Nigeria

Utibe S Ebong, Olusesan A Makinde


About 376 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI) are reported annually across the globe. Also, untreated STI result in increased risks of complications including HIV, infertility and congenital infections. In Nigeria, enabling factors for STI transmission has increased in recent times. Thus, good treatment seeking behaviour is critical for the management of STI among people with sexually transmitted infections in Nigeria. Secondary data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey dataset were used. The survey was conducted across Nigeria following a-2 stage stratified cluster sampling design from a sample of 4,997 women and 653 men aged 15 – 49 years who reported an STI history. Only 46.1% of the men and 55.7% of the women sought treatment for STI. Men who reported having genital ulcer were 3 times more likely to seek treatment, and women with genital ulcers were 2 times more likely to seek treatment than those who did not have genital ulcers. There is the need to reinforce HIV/STI messaging and health education campaigns in order to sensitize more people on transmission, symptoms and treatment of STI. Also, equitable mechanisms for financing STI treatment should be incorporated into the Nigerian health system in order to increase access for people of poorer economic status. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[3]: 105-112).

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