Two methods of self-sampling compared to clinician sampling to detect reproductive tract infections in Gugulethu, South Africa
Objectives: To assess the validity, feasibility, and acceptability of 2 methods of self-sampling compared to clinician sampling during a speculum examination. GOAL: To improve screening for reproductive tract infections (RTIs) in resource-poor settings. Study Design: In a public clinic in Cape Town, 450 women underwent a speculum examination and were randomized to self-sample with either a tampon or vaginal swabs. All specimens were tested for the same pathogens using the same diagnostic tests. Results: Self-sampling resulted in satisfactory validity for N gonorrhoeae, C trachomatis, bacterial vaginosis, and Candida species (tampons and swabs) and high-risk human papillomavirus (swabs only) when tested with molecular tests or microscopy, but not for T vaginalis by culture. Self-sampling was feasible and acceptable, but some women preferred speculum examinations, which allow the clinician to view the vagina and cervix. Conclusions: Although self-sampling should not replace speculum examinations in all circumstances, it should be explored further as an RTI screening strategy.
van de Wijgert, Janneke, Lydia Altini, Heidi E. Jones, Alana de Kock, Taryn Young, Anna Lise Williamson, Anwar Hoosen, and Nicol Coetzee. 2006. "Two methods of self-sampling compared to clinician sampling to detect reproductive tract infections in Gugulethu, South Africa," Sexually Transmitted Diseases 33(8): 516–523.