- Worldwide problem
- Public health strategies can help slow the
spread of STDs, especially when targeted at
- FP/MCH programs can offer STD prevention and
possibly management services
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
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 Cs. 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.