Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are highly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a severe HIV epidemic. Thus, accurate recognition and diagnosis of STIs are essential for successful HIV prevention programs in the region. Due to lack of trained personnel and adequate laboratory infrastructure in the region, information regarding the profile of STIs relies essentially on self-reported or physician-diagnosed symptoms. The main objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of the syndromic diagnosis of STIs, which is often used as a proxy for laboratory diagnosis of STIs in sub-Saharan Africa and other resource-limited settings. The study builds on previously collected data from a community-based survey in Northern Tanzania. We found no significant agreements between patient-reported STIs symptoms and laboratory-confirmed STIs tests. The reported STIs symptoms had high specificity (range = 85-99%) and poor sensitivity (range = 2-17%). Knowledge gained from our study will have significant public health implications, and can help improve the syndromic diagnosis of STIs.