TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases affect industrialized
as well as developing countries. The 20-24 age group is
the most exposed to risk.
Annual incidence of curable STDs (which excludes
AIDS) is 333 million cases. Apart from AIDS, the four
most common STDs at present are:
62 million cases worldwide.
Inflammation of the mucosa of the birth
canal, of the mucous membrane of the throat, and/or of
the rectum. Possible complications include septicaemia,
arthritis, endocarditis and meningitis.
89 million people.
There are no obvious clinical
manifestations of this bacterial infection. If infection
with chlamydia is not properly diagnosed, it can result
in sterility in some women or in mother-to-child
infection during childbirth, leading to conjunctivitis
or eye inflammation in the baby. In men it can cause
urethritis with possible infection of the ductus
deferens and the testicles (epididymitis).
12 million people.
Syphilis is the most deadly STD apart from
AIDS. Signs of this bacterial infection range from skin
eruptions to complications of the heart and nervous
170 million people.
This parasitic infection can lead to
vaginitis and vaginal discharge in women. Usually,
however, there are no symptoms.
The worldwide incidence of STDs is already high and
constantly rising. The ever greater mobility of
populations and weakening of traditional customs are
increasing the prevalence of people having sexual
relations with multiple partners.
Apart from their specific symptoms, STDs also
increase the risk of HIV infection. There is
considerable evidence that the genital inflammations and
lesions caused by STDs increase the risk of sexual
transmission of HIV.
STD control remains one of the main priorities of the
World Health Organization. WHO's strategy is based on:
1. promotion of responsible sexual behaviour;
2. general access to condoms at affordable prices;
3. inclusion of STD treatment in basic health
4. proper treatment of STDs (ie. use of correct
drugs, treatment of sexual partners, education and
advice, reliable supply of condoms);
5. promotion of early recourse to health services by
people suffering from STDs and by their partners;
6. screening of clinically asymptomatic patients,
such as women with syphilis during pregnancy.