Show Summary Details
Page of

Epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections 

Epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections

Chapter:
Epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections
Author(s):

David Mabey

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.0801

May 30, 2013: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 30 March 2017

Although accurate incidence figures are not available in most countries, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (excluding HIV) are estimated to cause more than 5% of the global burden of disease. The burden falls especially heavily on women and infants, with more than half a million perinatal deaths attributable to syphilis annually. Mobile populations, those with many sexual partners, and those whose partners have many partners are at increased risk, and the prevalence of treatable STIs is many times higher in poor populations, who often lack access to effective treatment. Other STIs, especially those that cause genital ulceration, increase the risk of HIV transmission.

Incidence

In Western countries, the reported incidence of many STIs fell during the 1980s and 1990s, probably as a result of changes in sexual behaviour resulting from the HIV epidemic, but has increased subsequently. The reported incidence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection has increased in the general population, especially in teenagers and young adults, and the incidence of syphilis has increased in core groups, including homosexual men.

Strategies to control STIs

These include health education and the promotion of condoms; the provision of accessible, acceptable, and affordable clinical services to provide effective treatment and hence prevent complications and further transmission; and partner notification to reach infected people who may not present to a health facility. Since many STIs are asymptomatic, screening programmes may also play an important role. Screening of pregnant women for syphilis is recommended policy in most countries, and has been shown to be cost-effective even where the prevalence is low. Screening programmes for C. trachomatis infection have recently been implemented in some Western countries, but their impact is uncertain.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.