Sexually Transmitted Infections are infections that are caused by bacteria, viruses or Protozoans (flagellates) and are mainly transmitted through sexual contact from one individual to the sexual partner (s). All bacterial STIs can be easily treated and cured using specific antibiotics.It is important for early Health seeking behavior for treatment of STIs to avoid complications. Sexual Partner treatment is of significant importance to avoid recurrence/ repeated infections. Treatment of STIs during pregnancy prevents mother to child transmission. Most of Viral STIs do not have cure.
|Causative organism||Infection/disease caused|
|Viral||Human Immunodeficiency virus||HIV/AIDS|
|Herpes simplex virus||Genital herpes|
|Human papiloma virus||Genital warts, Cervical cancer|
|Hepatitis B virus||Viral Hepatitis, cirrhosis, Liver cancer ( Hepatoma)|
|Fungal||Candida albicans||Vaginal candidiasis ( vaginitis)|
Most STIs presents themselves as syndromes having collective of similar clinical manifestation. Most commonly bacterial, protozoan and candidal STIs presents with either vaginal discharge in females or urethral discharge in men ( gonorhoea, chlamidia, Trichomoniasis and candidal vaginitis). The discharge varies from whitish, yellow or greenish with or without pain during urination. In a complicated condition in females there will be lower abdominal pains, this case of Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Some bacterial infections presents with genital ulcerations with or without enlarged lymph nodes ( Syphilis, Chancroid, Lymhogranuloma venerum).
Acute Viral STIs presents with general symptoms of fevers, general body weakness, skin rashes, jaundice with or without enlargement of liver and lymph nodes (HIV, HPB). Chronic viral STIs presents with vesicular lesions, ulcers or warts/growth on the genital area for both males and females. More than 40%of population are infected with common viral infection and remains without symptoms but are able to transmit viral infection to their sexual partners. In Botswana 17.1% population are infected with HIV and about 30% are infected with HSV. These infections are more common with women and men of reproductive age groups. Both genital herpes ulcers and genital warts are prone to recurrences especially when are associated with co-existence of HIV.
Most of bacterial STIs are treatable with the use of antibiotics Viral STIs can be treated to alleviate symptoms but do not have cure. The use of antiretroviral therapy helps to improve health, prevent recurrence and complications and prolong life particularly in HIV/AIDS.
All sexually transmitted infections are prevented in similar ways to control transmission of infection to the sexual partner and spread of infection in the community. Like any infectious disease STI can be prevented: