Fact Sheet N 110
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases affect industrialized as well as developing countries. The 20-24 age group is the most exposed to risk.
Annual incidence of curable STDs (which excludes AIDS) is 333 million cases. Apart from AIDS, the four most common STDs at present are:
The worldwide incidence of STDs is already high and constantly rising. The ever greater mobility of populations and weakening of traditional customs are increasing the prevalence of people having sexual relations with multiple partners.
Apart from their specific symptoms, STDs also increase the risk of HIV infection. There is considerable evidence that the genital inflammations and lesions caused by STDs increase the risk of sexual transmission of HIV.
STD control remains one of the main priorities of the World Health Organization. WHO's strategy is based on:
1. promotion of responsible sexual behaviour;
2. general access to condoms at affordable prices;
3. inclusion of STD treatment in basic health services;
4. proper treatment of STDs (ie. use of correct drugs, treatment of sexual partners, education and advice, reliable supply of condoms);
5. promotion of early recourse to health services by people suffering from STDs and by their partners;
6. screening of clinically asymptomatic patients, such as women with syphilis during pregnancy.
For further information, please contact Health Communication and Public Relations, WHO, Geneva, Tel (41 22) 791 2584. Fax (41 22) 791 4858.
All WHO Press Releases, Facts Sheets and Features can be obtained on the WHO Home Page of the Internet http: //www.who.ch/