Sexually Transmitted Infections

More than two dozen bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens can cause sexually transmitted infections (STIs).Returning travelers should be asked about sexual activity during their trip, with specific questions about region of travel, sexual partners, sites of sexual exposure, and condom use. Assessing risk in MSM is important because they have elevated rates of certain infections (syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and lymphogranuloma venereum). Screen travelers seeking an evaluation for STI or with evidence of STI for HIV infection. Provide anyone with HIV infection linkage to HIV care and treatment services if they are not already receiving care.

Prevention

Prevention and control of STIs is based on accurate risk assessment, education, counseling, early identification of asymptomatic infection, and effective treatment of travelers and their sex partners. Pretravel advice should include specific messages with strategies to avoid acquiring or transmitting STIs. Abstinence or mutual monogamy with an uninfected partner is the most reliable way to avoid acquiring and transmitting?STIs. For people whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for STIs, correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of HIV infection and other STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Preventing lower genital tract infections might reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Correct and consistent use of male latex condoms also reduces the risk of HPV infection, genital herpes, syphilis, and chancroid, although data are limited. Only water-based lubricants, such as K-Y Jelly, should be used with latex condoms because oil-based lubricant.

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