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Background: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be transmitted by blood, sexual intercourse and body fluids. Marrying a carrier of these illnesses places the spouse and their baby at risk of acquiring infection. The risk of HIV spread has increased ten times in the existence of untreated STDs. Premarital blood screening is vital concern against STDs for students.
Objective: To assess the level of awareness of pre-marital sexually transmitted diseases screening between medical and non-medical students in Karachi, Pakistan.
Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted by questionnaire method in 500 students (250 medical, 250 non-medicals) of aged between 18 – 25 years from different institutes of Karachi. Purposive sampling technique was conducted. Sample size calculation was done using the W.H.O. software where α=5%, 1-β =90, Po=0.56, Pa=0.49, n (sample size)=434. The researcher recruited 500 subjects to avoid the chances of type ii error. Questionnaire comprised of close ended questions, which enquired about the definition of STDs, content, nature and awareness of STDs, perception of the application of pre-marital STDs screening in Karachi, knowledge of STDs and the remaining questions were related to screening issues. The study design was cross sectional and sampling technique was purposive sampling. Continuous variable was presented as mean ± standard deviation and categorical variables were presented as proportions (%). All analyses were performed using statistical package for social sciences version 20 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
Results: Regarding STDs 74% medical & 61.6% non-medical university students were able to define it. Majority 96% medical and 94% non-medical students consider HIV as STD and about Hepatitis B/C it is 84% and 57.6% respectively. Half of the students 50.2 % agreed for STD screening implementation in Pakistan. Conclusion: Pre-marital screening could be extended to include a broader spectrum of health/genetic disorders and will be useful for early identification and possible intervention as well as the prevention of complications.
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Author(s): Nabila Kalar Musleh Uddin Kalar Syeda Sameen Zehra Hasnain Abbas Dharamshi Sufyan Patel Ahmad Faraz Farhana Munaf Madiha Fatima SidratulMuntaha Syeda Bushra Ahmed
STDs, HIV, Hepatitis B/C, pre-marital screening, students.