Backgrounder: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

| September 1, 2022

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Like this edition’s Farmer story from Mali, our Script of the Week focuses on STIs. 

STIs are important for broadcasters who are interested in health topics for a variety of reasons, including: 

  • Sexually transmitted infections affect a large proportion of the population.
  • Some STIs, including herpes and syphilis, can more than triple the risk of contracting HIV.
  • STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammation and sterility.
  • Most STIs can be cured when treated on time, and generally without side-effects. But delayed treatment can result in complications, including transmission to newborns, sterility, and cancer.
  • Transmission of an STI from mother to child can lead to death at birth, newborn death, low birth weight, premature births, and birth defects.
  • Adolescents are particularly exposed and vulnerable to HIV and other STIs, as many of them are sexually active, change partners, and have limited knowledge of STIs.
  • Because of the serious impacts of STIs, it is important to provide high quality information that will encourage people to protect themselves.

This backgrounder includes the following sections: 

  • What are the vectors of STIs?
  • What are the most common major STIs?
  • Methods of transmission
  • Risk factors among adolescents
  • Preventive measures
  • The consequences for health