Ten Questions on Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually Transmitted Infections

The most common sexually transmitted infections include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chancre, genital herpes, condyloma acuminatum, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and hepatitis B infection.

Some of them, especially HIV and syphilis, may also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth and through blood products and tissue transplants.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are mostly transmitted to another person through sexual intercourse by an infected person. Some sexually transmitted infections can also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy and childbirth.

Other ways of transmission are sharing blood products and tissue transplantation. Sexually transmitted infections can lead to diseases such as syphilis, AIDS and cervical cancer.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are usually asymptomatic, especially in women. Therefore, even if there are no signs, if the partner has symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, both men and women should see a doctor. Once the infection is diagnosed or suspicious, it should be treated effectively in time to avoid complications.


Sexually transmitted infections affect women and young girls to varying degrees. One in twenty young girls acquire bacterial infections through sexual contact every year, and sexually transmitted infections are becoming younger and younger.

In adolescents, raising awareness and understanding of sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them should be the content of all sexual health education and services.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the main cause of female infertility caused by fallopian tube injury. In women with inappropriate treatment for Chlamydia infection, 10% to 40% developed symptomatic pelvic inflammation. Injury after tubal infection is the cause of infertility in 30% to 40% of women.


During pregnancy, untreated early syphilis is responsible for 1/4 stillbirths and 14% of neonatal deaths. About 4 to 15 percent of women in Africa are syphilis-positive. More effective measures to screen for syphilis and prevent mother-to-child transmission among pregnant women are estimated to prevent 492,000 stillbirths per year in Africa alone.


One of the most lethal sexually transmitted infections is human papillomavirus. In fact, almost all cases of cervical cancer are associated with genital human papillomavirus infection.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. Every year, 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer occur and 250,000 women die of cervical cancer. New vaccines to prevent HPV infection can reduce cervical cancer-related deaths.


Long-term and correct use of condoms is one of the most effective ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection. Although female condoms are effective, they are not widely used in national planning because they are more expensive than male condoms.


Partner notification procedure is an integral part of the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Through this procedure, patients’sexual partners can be informed about their exposure to infection, so that their partners may receive timely disease screening and treatment. Informing partners can prevent repeated infections and reduce further transmission of infections.


Socio-economic status and certain sexual behaviors can increase individuals’susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections. The most dangerous groups of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) vary in different contexts, depending on local culture and practices.

Interventions to prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections among susceptible populations should be strengthened, while ensuring that the stigma and discrimination that may arise from the services provided are minimized.


Through extensive consultations with Member States and partners, WHO has developed a global strategy to accelerate the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections, which was unanimously adopted at the World Health Assembly in May 2006.

In order to promote action and improve efficiency, the 10-year plan, which includes technology and advocacy, can be adapted for use by countries.

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Written by STDsSTIs

STDsSTIs is here to help people think, discuss and take responsible action on some of life’s biggest decisions – ones that often don’t get enough attention. We help raise the tough questions and ask young people to consider what really makes sense for them. Together, we can help Coloradans lead healthier lives and raise healthier families.