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South Africa is faced with a high HIV and STI prevalence and incidence, respectively, with pockets of high burden areas driving these diseases. Localised monitoring of the HIV epidemic and STI endemic would enable more effective targeted prevention strategies. We assessed spatial variations in curable STI incidence among a cohort of women enrolled in HIV prevention clinical trials between 2002 and 2012. STI incidence rates from 7557 South African women enrolled in five HIV prevention trials were geo-mapped using participant household GPS coordinates. Age and period standardised incidence rates were calculated for 43 recruitment areas and Bayesian conditional autoregressive areal spatial regression (CAR) was used to identify significant patterns and spatial patterns of STI infections in recruitment communities. Overall age and period standardised STI incidence rate were estimated as 15 per 100 PY and ranged from 6 to 24 per 100 PY. We identified five significant STI high risk areas with higher-than-expected incidence of STIs located centrally (three-locations) and southern neighbouring areas of Durban (two-locations). Younger age (<25), not married/cohabitating, parity <3 and poor education were all significant correlates of high STI communities. Findings demonstrate sustained STI incidence rates across the greater Durban area. The role of STI incidence in HIV acquisition in high HIV endemic areas need to be revisited as current highly effective PrEP interventions do not protect from STI acquisition. In these settings there is an urgent need for integrative HIV and STI prevention and treatment services.

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HIV, STI, South Africa, incidence, mapping, spatial epidemiology, Pregnancy, Humans, Female, HIV Infections, South Africa, Bayes Theorem, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Research Design, Incidence