Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

According to the Oxford Journals of Occupational Medicine article Sexual Health and HIV in travelers and expatriates ” There is a well-established association between travel and the acquisition or transmission of STIs… Travelers engaging in sexual contact with a new partner abroad may be at high risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection.”

Key Facts of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) by WHO

Estimated new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis and trichomoniasis) by WHO region, 2008.

  • Every day, more than 1 million people acquire a STI.
  • Each year
    • An estimated 500 million people become ill with one of 4 STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.
    • HPV infection causes 530 000 cases of cervical cancer and 275 000 cervical cancer deaths.
  • Genital Herpes (HSV2). More than 530 million people have the virus that causes genital herpes.
  • Human Papilomavirus (HPV). More than 290 million women have a human papillomavirus infection.
  • Other STIs facts
    • The majority of STIs are present without symptoms.
    • Some STIs can increase the risk of HIV acquisition three-fold or more.
    • STIs can have serious consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself, through mother-to-child transmission of infections and chronic diseases.
    • Drug resistance, especially for gonorrhea, is a major threat to reducing the impact of STIs worldwide.

Basic Prevention of STIs CDC Advisory

  • Get the facts on STIs. The CDC STD Fact Sheets offer information on how these infections spread, how you can protect yourself and what are the treatment options.
  • Know your STI status. Get tested. If you know you are infected you can take steps to protect yourself and your sexual partners.
  • Abstinence from sex (i.e., anal, oral or vaginal) is the most reliable way to avoid an STI.
  • Mutual Monogamy. Know each other’s STI status. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs.
  • Reduced Number of Sex Partners. Know your sexual partner STI status and share yours. Reducing your number of sex partners and taking appropriate precautions can decrease your risk for STIs.
  • Vaccination. Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent hepatitis B and HPV.
  • Barrier methods. When used correctly and consistently, condoms offer one of the most effective methods of protection against STIs, including HIV. Female condoms are effective and safe, but are not used as widely by national programs as male condoms.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink, and don’t use recreational drugs. People take more risks when they have been drinking or using drugs.

UT Dallas Student Health Center and Wellness Center recommendations and services

  • Be cautious when participating in any sexual acts with acquaintances or even people you have just met.
  • Use protection for every sexual act performed.
    • HIV Testing. Contact the Wellness Center at 972 883 4275 for information on free HIV testing.
    • STI Testing. Schedule an appointment with the Student Health Center at 972 883 2747 for STI testing.
    • Barrier methods. UT Dallas students can pick up free condoms at the Wellness Center during office hours.

UT Dallas Support Services

Sources

The risk information in this post is retrieved from U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and International SOS. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers. Please note the published date of this post,  and go to the direct sources listed above for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this post may change without prior notice.

2 comments

  1. […] your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  Travelers engaging in sexual contact with a new partner abroad may be at high risk of acquiring […]

  2. […] See also a relevant ICRSO post on this topic: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) […]