Perceived risk of reinfection among individuals treated for sexually transmitted infections in Northern Ethiopia: implication for use in clinical practice
Introduction: The prevention of reinfection of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is highly dependent on the level of risk perception and the subsequent adoption of preventive behaviors. While perceived risk is assumed to be key to adoption of preventive measures, the evidence regarding the predictors of perceived risk to STI reinfection are limited.
Methods: This paper is based on a cross sectional facility based survey conducted in North Ethiopia from January to June; 2015. Patients attending public health facilities for STI care responded to a structured questionnaire at clinic exist. Ordinal logistic regression was employed to identify factors associated with risk perception.
Results: Of the 1082 STI patients who participated in the study, 843(77.91%) indicated a high perceived risk of STI reinfection. The major factor associated with low perceived risk of reinfection was willingness to notify partner; the odds of being willing to notify partner was greater among those who perceived low risk (AOR=3.01, 95% CI: 2.13-4.25). In addition, low perceived risk was associated with female index cases (AOR=1.49, 95% CI: 1.07-2.08), those who had high school education and above (AOR=1.68, 95% CI: 1.07-2.65), those aged 25 years and above (AOR=1.52, 95% CI: 1.09-2.12), those who had a single partner (AOR=1.82, 95% CI: 1.20-2.74), and those who had low perceived stigma (AOR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.04-1.95).
Conclusion: The perceived risk of STI reinfection is high and strongly associated with willing to notify partner. Efforts to prevent STI reinfection need to consider interventions that enhance partner notification.
Keywords: Ordinal regression, risk perception, STI reinfection