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ISSN: 2161-1165

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Research Article

Prevalence and Awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections among Inmates of a Drug Rehabilitation Center in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Wafa Fageeh*, Archana Iyer, Naif Almalki, Wafa Alturkistani, Soonham Yaghmoor, Areej Alyahiby, Bukahri Ayman, Hanan Alattas and Taha Kumosani

Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

*Corresponding Author:
Wafa Fageeh
Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Tel: 026401000
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: March 09, 2014; Accepted date: April 07, 2014; Published date: April 09, 2014

Citation: Fageeh W, Iyer A, Almalki N, Alturkistani W, Yaghmoor S, et al. (2014) Prevalence and Awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections among Inmates of a Drug Rehabilitation Center in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study. Epidemiol 4:154. doi:10.4172/2161-1165.1000154

Copyright: © 2014 Fageeh W, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Drug addicts constitute a high-risk group for the transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The aim of the study was to screen inmates at a drug rehabilitation center for the presence of commonly occurring STIs. We also aimed to correlate the prevalence of STIs with injecting and noninjecting drug use and awareness about the prevention of STIs.

This cross-sectional study was conducted on a convenience sample of 115 inpatients at Al Amal Hospital for the Treatment of Addiction and Rehabilitation between September 1, 2011 and November 1, 2012. Demographic data, use of intravenous and other addictive drugs, and awareness about condom use for protection against STIs were documented. Blood samples were collected, and serum and DNA were extracted to test for HIV and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and for syphilis using polymerase chain reaction. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.

Of the total participants, 18 had one or more STIs, including syphilis (n=11), HIV (n=5), HBV (n=5) and combined HBV and syphilis (n=3). The prevalence of STIs was higher among injecting drug users than among noninjecting drug users. Compared to the group that did not have STIs, very few participants who were positive for STIs were aware that condoms provided protection against STIs.

The prevalence of HIV, HBV and syphilis among male drug addicts in Saudi Arabia is very high. Healthcare providers should focus on raising awareness and providing treatment and counselling to this high-risk population.


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