Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are issues of public health concern and they are rampant nowadays. STIs are infections caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites and are transmitted through sexual contact (vaginal, anal and oral sex). STIs are also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) because the signs and symptoms may not be evident and these infections could develop into a disease.
According to WHO, more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired everyday worldwide. Each year, there are an estimated 357 million new infections with 1 of these 4 STIs: Chlamydia (131 million), gonorrhoea (78 million), syphilis (5.6million) and trichomoniasis (143 million). Globally, more than 500 million people are living with genital HSV (Herpes) infection.
The most common STIs in Nigeria include Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Trichomoniasis, Herpes and HIV. Gonorrhoea is a genital tract infection caused by a bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrhoea. According to PAHO/WHO 2012, the global prevalence rate of Gonorrhoea was 1.4% among individuals aged 15-49 years. Syphilis is another deadly STD caused by a bacterium known as Treponema pallidum while Hepatitis B is a major global public health problem. It is a potential life threatening liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). A HBV infection can however be prevented using the Hepatitis B vaccine which is recommended to be administered 24 hours after birth.
A great way to reduce the high prevalence of STIs is by practicing safe sex or abstinence. However, even though safe sex is preached and advocated for on a regular basis, STIs are still common especially among young people. What do you think could be the cause of this?