Academic: Sexual transmitted infection

Jun 10, 2020, 1:28 PM | Article By: Alhagie N. Sanyang & Ida K. Touray

Introduction: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), also referred to as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), are infections that are commonly spread by sexual activity, especially vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. Many times STIs initially do not cause symptoms. This results in a greater risk of passing the disease on to others.

In 2008, it was estimated that 500 million people were infected with either syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. At least an additional 530 million people have genital herpes and 290 million women have human papillomavirus. STIs other than HIV resulted in 142,000 deaths in 2013. The number of first cases of genital warts in 2017 among girls aged 15–17 years was just 441, 90% less than in 2009 – attributed to the national human papilloma virus immunization programme.

Risk of getting STIs

  • Travelers are at high risk of acquiring STIs if they have unprotected sex.
  • Engaged in casual sex.
  • Sex workers.
  • Having multiple sex partners.
  • Sexual violence such as rape.

Types of STIs

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • HIV
  • Genital herpes
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection


  • The most effective way to prevent sexual transmission of STIs is to avoid having multiple sex partners out of marriage.
  • Both partners can get tested for STIs before initiating sexual contact, or before resuming contact if a partner engaged in contact with someone else.
  • Proper use of condoms reduces contact and risk. Although a condom is effective in limiting exposure, some disease transmission may occur even with a condom.
  • Consider that not having sex is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
  • Always avoid sex with anyone who has genital sores, a rash, discharge or other symptoms.
  • Get a vaccination for HPV vaccine to prevent Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Written by Alhagie N. Sanyang & Ida K. Touray

Course: Health Education and Promotion