Factors influencing STIs among married women in Uganda
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Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain widespread and represent a major burden of morbidity and mortality around the world. STIs disproportionately affect women causing a significant public health burden particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This study examined the factors influencing STIs among married women (married or cohabiting) in Uganda. Methods: The study based on data from the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS). Analyzed 11,203 weighted cases of women aged 15–49 in union and selected for the HIV/AIDS module. Both chi-square tests and binary logistic regression were used to examine the predictors of STIs among married women. The main explanatory variables included age, age at first sex, education, occupation, religion, region, wealth index, condom use during the last sex with most recent partners, number of lifetime sexual partners, and husband having other wives. Results: Results showed that (25 %) of women in union reported STIs in the last 12 months. Age, occupation, and number of lifetime sexual partners were associated with greater STIs. Compared with women in the age group 15-19, those in age group 25-29 and 30-34 were more likely to report STIs. Of the four disaggregations by employment/ occupation status, not working, professional, agriculture, and others, having professional employment had significant relationships with reporting of STIs among married women. Women who were working in formal employment were less likely to report STIs compared to those not working. Compared with women who had their total lifetime sexual partners below 10, those who had above ten lifetime partners were more likely to report STIs in the last 12 months. Multivariate analysis showed that women’s age was the most important determinant of STIs among married women. Conclusions: My findings suggest that, persons in union are equally at risk of STIs if either partner engages in risky sexual behaviors. It is therefore important to promote fidelity and better communication between married partners, and where necessary to encourage regular testing and treatment of STIs. Women need to take charge of their health jointly with their partners.