Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) refers to a set of clinical infections in which a mode of transmission is through sexual contact, and in which at least, one partner is infected. Many of these infections spread predominantly through sexual intercourse, but in some others, sexual contact may play a less predominant or uncertain role. Most STDs are not, however spread through casual contact, vectors or formites.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are recognized as a major public health problem in most of the industrialized world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, in the mid-1990s, 30 million curable sexually transmitted infections (syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and trichomoniasis) occurred every year in North America and Western Europe with an additional 18 million cases in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. These counts do not include incurable Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as genital herpes and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infections, for which no up-to-date estimates have been derived by the WHO. Approximately 74, 000 new HIV infections are estimated to have occurred in 1997 in North America and Western Europe. Centre for disease Control and prevention (Sexually transmitted diseases Surveillance – 2011).
Although some increases in incidence are documented, it is unclear, how much of this upward trend is due to improvements in case ascertainment and surveillance or to actual increase in STD incidence. Most developed countries have seen dramatic declines in the incidence of Syphilis and gonorrhea since World War II. Some eastern European countries nevertheless have recently experienced increase in these two STDs.
STDs deserves attention, not only because of the high prevalence, but also because they frequently go undetected and untreated and can result in serious reproductive morbidity and mortality. Compared with the extensive efforts devoted to research and intervention on HIV and AIDS, very little attention has been paid to other STDs. Hence there is a need to increase awareness of, at least, one central aspect of most common curable STDs – their incidence. Recent findings shows that some STDs acts as a cofactor or facilitator for HIV transmission, arguing that research on STDs other than HIV and AIDS can also contribute to better insights into HIV infections. Sexually transmitted diseases are responsible for a variety of health problems and can have especially serious consequences for adolescents and young adults. CDC-STD Surveillance (2011).
The mode of transmission varies among the different sexually transmitted diseases. Some bacteria or virus are found in vaginal secretions or semen (e.g. gonorrhea), while others are shed from the skin of and around the genitals (e.g. HSV and HPV). Infections typically occur during sexual intercourse or when the genitals come into close contact. Infections may also occur during oral sex. It may also be transmitted during non-censenting sex acts such as rape or molestation.
The transmission of STDs is more efficient from men to women than from women to men. For example, with just one unprotected sexual encounter with an infected partner, a woman is twice as likely to acquire gonorrhea or Chlamydia. In addition, different STDs have different rates of transmission. For example, with one unprotected sexual intercourse, a woman has 1 percent chance of acquiring HIV, 30 percent chance of acquiring herpes and 50 percent chance of contracting gonorrhea if her partner is infected. Macdonald and David (2003).
Several studies on STDs have been evaluating sexual behaviors for quite a while. Following HIV pandemic from 1980-1990s, the focus on sexual behaviors evaluation intensified. The researchers have been investigating sexual behaviors in a variety of context often asking the same questions for various purposes. Some authors evaluated sexual behaviors in relation with STDs in order to assess individuals’ risk of acquiring STDs. Others concentrated on specific groups to describe and identify high and low risk population. Kennedy and ZephantaMtaturu (2006). However, statistics on STDs show no sign of abating the ever increasing number of STDs and deaths due to the fact that HIV/AIDS are common now, particularly in developing countries. As the time goes on, the trend of sexually transmitted diseases is becoming a big problem among the youth. Kennedy and ZephantaMtaturu (2006).
Prevalence estimates suggests that young people aged 15-24 years acquire half of all new STDs and that 1 in 4 sexually active adolescent females have an STD, such as Chlamydia or HPV. Compared with other adults, sexually active adolescent aged 15-19 years and young adults aged 20-24 are at higher risk of acquiring STDs for a combination of behavioral, biological and cultural reasons. For some STDs, such as Chlamydia, adolescent females may have increased susceptibility to infection because of increased cervical ectopy. The higher prevalence of STDs among adolescents also may reflect multiple barriers to accessing quality STD prevention services, including lack of health insurance or ability to pay, lack of transportation, discomfort with facilities and services designed for adults and concerns about confidentiality. CDC (2011).
According to Ayo et.al. (2013), Nigeria has a fast growing population and is confronted with numerous health challenges. With a population of more than 150 million, the country’s population is young; therefore, the future of the country rests to a greater extent, on how successful, its youth have a transition to a healthy and productive adulthood. Adebowale (2013) et al in a research work on statistical modeling of social risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases among female youths in Nigeria argues that, STDs remain a major public health challenge because of their health consequences, several complications especially among women who excessively bear long term consequences. It was also stated that the prevalence of STDs among Nigerian female youths is 17 percent, arguing that STDs causes infertility in women and increases the risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS. Adopting a multi-staged probability sampling to select respondents among women of child bearing age (15-49 years), the study used data from records of ICF Macro Calverton, in conjunction with National Population Commission, Nigeria in 2008.
In light of this, this paper investigated the effect of the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and survival among different age groups and gender in the target population using the age and gender of the patient, duration of hospital stay and type of sexually transmitted disease as independent variable. Three diseases were considered namely: Staphylococcus, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Retroviral disease (RVD).