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Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Authors
Kees Rietmeijer, PhD, MD, MSPH
Grace E Marx, MD
Section Editor
Noreen A Hynes, MD, MPH, DTM&H
Deputy Editor
Allyson Bloom, MD

INTRODUCTION

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common and preventable causes of morbidity and serious complications. Untreated chlamydial and gonococcal infection may result in pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain in 10 to 20 percent of cases [1]. STIs can also result in adverse outcomes in pregnancy, including spontaneous abortion, still birth, premature birth, and congenital infection [2]. Finally, the presence of STIs can facilitate HIV transmission [3-5]. Thus, primary prevention of STIs needs to be given high priority.

The comprehensive approach to STI prevention is based on five major strategies [6]:

Accurate risk assessment, with education and counseling of at-risk individuals on ways to avoid STIs

Pre-exposure vaccination of individuals at risk for vaccine-preventable STIs

Identification of both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals with STIs

                                         

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Literature review current through: Aug 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 15, 2017.
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