Myths and Facts regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

At the present time, sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection are the most common health problems in the area of sexual and reproductive health. STIs and HIV infection are consequences of unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected individual. The risk of STIs increases if a person has more than one sexual partner, or a partner (including prostitutes) who has other sexual partners. The most common STIs are: chlamydia, syphilis, trichomonas, genital warts, chancroid, genital herpes, hepatitis B and HIV infection.

Even with the current level of knowledge, HIV/AIDS generates fear and misunderstanding among people. STIs, especially HIV/AIDS, are enclosed by numerous myths among people in Bangladesh. Attitudes towards sex and sexuality are a basic part of every culture which are influenced by religious, social and economic factors. It is essential to understand how HIV/AIDS is perceived in the local community in order to develop appropriate educational messages. The educational messages can enhance people’s ability to plan and carry out responsible, healthy choices related to sexual behavior and substance use. These can directly and indirectly decrease their vulnerability to sexual and reproductive health problems.

Published data regarding the frequency of HIV in Bangladesh is limited. The prevalence of HIV in Bangladesh is still low compared to its surrounding countries, as per the surveys conducted so far. In order to reduce the existing HIV epidemic in Bangladesh, all the practitioners should have extensive discussions and take necessary steps collectively. Distribution of essential information that covers vital points about growth and development, contraception, STIs, the relationship between treatment of STIs and HIV prevention, and counselling for HIV/AIDS are the significant practices that they can do. Immediate targeted interventions can have a beneficial effect in eliminating the epidemic.Reference:

Richard Steen, T. E. (2009). Control of sexually transmitted infections and prevention of HIV transmission: mending a fractured paradigm. Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

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