OBJECTIVE: To explore perceptions, attitudes and health-seeking patterns for reproductive tract infections including sexually transmitted infections (RTI/STI) among men and women in rural Vietnam. METHOD: Ten focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 46 women and 27 men aged 15-49 in Bavi district, northern Vietnam. A pre-designed discussion guide was used during the discussions. Content analysis was applied for data analysis. Each sentence/paragraph was coded. Similar codes were clustered and collapsed into sub-categories and categories. Two main themes 'community perceptions of RTI/STI' and 'attitudes towards RTI/STI' were created, based on the relationship between categories. FINDINGS: Complex terminology with many different terms was used by participants to describe and discuss RTI/STI. "Inflammation" [RTI], Gonorrhoea, Syphilis was described as three stages of STI. Health-seeking patterns for RTI/STI were reported to differ between men and women: self-medication was mentioned as a common practice among women, while men were more likely to seek health care from private providers. Complaints were voiced about clinicians' negative attitudes towards RTI/STI patients. CONCLUSION: Rural dwellers in a district of Vietnam expressed a variety of misconceptions regarding RTI/STI. Designing health education strategies to provide comprehensive RTI/STI information to the community and improving communication between RTI/STI patients and clinicians are urgently needed.