Background: The role of the GP in the care of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is unclear. Aim: We studied the prevalence of STI related consultations in Dutch general practice in order to obtain insight into the contribution of the GP in STI control. Design of study: A descriptive study. Setting: The study took place within the framework of the second Dutch National Survey of General Practice in 2001, a large nationally representative population-based survey. Method: During 1 year, data of all patient contacts with the participating GPs were recorded in electronic medical records. Contacts for the same health problem were clustered into disease episodes and their diagnosis coded according to the International Classification of Primary Care. All STI and STI related episodes were analysed. Results: In total, 1 524 470 contacts of 375 899 registered persons in 104 practices were registered during 1 year and 2460 STI related episodes were found. The prevalence rate of STI was 39 per 10 000 persons and of STI/HIV related questions 23 per 10 000. More than half of all STIs were found in highly urbanised areas and STIs were overrepresented in deprived areas. Three quarters of all STIs diagnosed in the Netherlands are made in general practice. An important number of other reproductive health visits in general practice offer opportunities for meaningful STI counselling and tailored prevention. Discussion: GPs contribute significantly to STI control, see the majority of patients with STI related symptoms and questions and are an important player in STI care. In particular, GPs in urban areas and inner-city practices should be targeted for accelerated sexual health programmes.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||British Journal of General Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2006|