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Factors influencing Sexually Transmitted Diseases and its Prevention Strategies

Author: Dr. Suvash Sahu - Sexual Health  

Contents


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are a group of communicable diseases that are transmitted predominantly through sexual contact. The sexually transmitted diseases are caused by bacteria, chlamydia and virus. STDs caused by bacteria include syphilis, chancroid, granuloma inguinale, gonorrhea; by chlamydia include lymphogranuloma venereum and nongonococcal urethritis; and viral infection includes herpes genitalis. venereal warts, and HIV (AIDS).

It is now well known that the presence of STDs increase the rate of transmission of HIV by at least 5 to 10 times. The early diagnosis and treatment can reduce this risk of transmission. But, the best strategy is prevention of STDs, which not only control the spread of HIV, but also reduce the morbidity and the social stigmas associated with it.

Modes of Transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

Sexual intercourse is the chief mode. Infection of neonates or infants by vertical transmission from mother to fetus and through body fluids such as breast milk.

Consequences and Complications

  • Infants get infected at birth with potentially blind eye infection or pneumonia.
  • Women can suffer from chronic abdominal pain, infertility, increased chance of spontaneous abortions, ectopic pregnancy and cervical cancer. Men may develop infertility.
  • Increased risk of HIV transmission.
  • STDs such as syphilis and HIV can kill infants as well as adults.
  • Social consequences.

Factors Influencing Transmission of STD

High Risk Behavior:

It includes having more than one sexual partner, changing sexual partners frequently, having sex with casual partners or prostitutes, varying sexual practices such as anal sex and oral sex, failure to follow safe sex measures such as using condoms, delay in getting treatment for STDs, failure to bring a sexual partner for treatment and not taking prescribed treatment for STDs.

Other Factors:

  1. Gender - More common in women and many are asymptomatic. Risk of transmission of STDs from men to women is much more than from women to men.
  2. Age - Immaturity increases the risk of transmission.
  3. Occupation - More common in persons forced to stay away from their families due to their occupation.
  4. Socioeconomic status - More common in low socioeconomic status.
  5. Circumcision - Decreases the risk of transmission, but offers no protection against STDs.
  6. War - Political instability and insecurity increase the risk of transmission.

Strategies for Prevention of STD

  • Patient education about STDs, its name, symptoms, treatment, complications and explanation regarding its spread by targeting vulnerable groups, such as sex workers.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of STDs on their first visit due to symptoms.
  • Treatment of sexual partners of STD patients.
  • Hence, remember the 4 Cs - condoms, counseling, contact tracing and compliance.

To know more about the preventive measures of sexually transmitted diseases, consult a sexually transmitted diseases specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist/sexually-transmitted-diseases

Image: Factors influencing Sexually Transmitted Diseases and its Prevention Strategies Last reviewed at: 22.Dec.2018

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