By Gatonye Gathura
It is now official; Nairobi men and most likely those married are largely responsible for importing venereal disease into the matrimonial bed.
And when confronted with the evidence they don’t seem to take it too kindly and be men enough to accompany their women for treatment.
Of 33 women who were recently diagnosed with chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi, only two partners turned up for treatment on request.
Of the two, one indicated to have got treatment elsewhere and the other declined to take medication. In a story told on Tuesday by top specialists in STDs in the region, there is high prevalence of chlamydia among married or women with steady partners in Nairobi.
Dr Anne Njeri Maina of the University of Nairobi, Dr Joshua Kimani, University of Manitoba, Canada and Prof Omu Anzala of the KAVI Institute of Clinical Research, University of Nairobi had studied 249 women attending the family planning clinic at KNH for three STDs.
In their report published, on Tuesday in the BMC Research Notes, of the three STDs they were testing for, chlamydia was the most prevalent with 33 women aged between 25 and 29 infected.
A majority, 88 per cent, of those with chlamydia were married with all of them having had only one sexual partner in the previous one year.
“These findings therefore suggest that the women were likely to have been infected by their regular partner.”
The team, members of which are associated with the search for a HIV vaccine for more than two decades, recommend regular screening for married women and where possible their partners.
Previous studies on prevalence of STDs in Nairobi have been targeted at prostitutes or groups with high risky sexual behavior but not married women as was the case here.
“It is important to direct prevention campaign towards reducing infections from regular partners.”