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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Summary: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

  • Worldwide problem

  • Public health strategies can help slow the spread of STDs, especially when targeted at core transmitters

  • FP/MCH programs can offer STD prevention and possibly management services
Man and woman

Photo: WHO/P.Almasy
Slide 82

STDs are a worldwide problem, with more than 300 million new cases of curable STDs each year. Also, AIDS and other incurable STDs are rapidly spreading, with 30 million cases of HIV infection as of 1998.

Public health strategies can help slow the spread of STDs by preventing new infections and managing existing infections. Public health strategies include targeting core transmitters, changing social norms and promoting condoms. FP/MCH programs must learn to think strategically about the STD epidemic as well.

At the provider level, there are two major areas of focus: STD prevention and management. All FP/MCH programs should incorporate STD prevention efforts into their ongoing services. This involves education, counseling, discussing STD risk with contraceptive choices, and incorporating condom promotion into ongoing services.

STD management services are more expensive. These services include diagnosis, treatment and the four C’s. If a program cannot provide them, it should establish a referral service to an STD clinic or another appropriate source of care.

Work is needed at all public health and program levels to slow the spread of STDs throughout the world.



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