Sex & Travel

Sex & Travel is a topic covered in the CDC Yellow Book.

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The World Health Organization estimates approximately 357 million infections with curable sexually transmitted pathogens (chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis) per year, or nearly 1 million new infections per day. More than 30 different sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by a range of pathogens, not all of which are curable or vaccine preventable. Travel health providers have a responsibility to educate their patients about what they can do to reduce the chances of acquiring an STI during travel. Targeted teaching and messaging to travelers at highest risk is a prudent approach.

Global distribution of sexually transmitted pathogens and their sensitivity to available treatment varies. International travelers having sex with new partners while abroad are exposed to different “sexual networks” than at home and can serve as a conduit for importation of novel or drug-resistant STIs into parts of the world where they are unknown or rare. Gonorrhea, for example, among the more common STIs globally (with an estimated 85 million new cases in 2012), has become extensively drug resistant in some parts of the world. Patients presenting with antimicrobial-resistant gonococcal infections should prompt providers to inquire about their travel history and the travel history of their sex partners.

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The World Health Organization estimates approximately 357 million infections with curable sexually transmitted pathogens (chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis) per year, or nearly 1 million new infections per day. More than 30 different sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by a range of pathogens, not all of which are curable or vaccine preventable. Travel health providers have a responsibility to educate their patients about what they can do to reduce the chances of acquiring an STI during travel. Targeted teaching and messaging to travelers at highest risk is a prudent approach.

Global distribution of sexually transmitted pathogens and their sensitivity to available treatment varies. International travelers having sex with new partners while abroad are exposed to different “sexual networks” than at home and can serve as a conduit for importation of novel or drug-resistant STIs into parts of the world where they are unknown or rare. Gonorrhea, for example, among the more common STIs globally (with an estimated 85 million new cases in 2012), has become extensively drug resistant in some parts of the world. Patients presenting with antimicrobial-resistant gonococcal infections should prompt providers to inquire about their travel history and the travel history of their sex partners.

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