C. Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV prevention

Basis for action

7.27. The world-wide incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is high and increasing. The situation has worsened considerably with the emergence of the HIV epidemic. Although the incidence of some sexually transmitted diseases has stabilized in parts of the world, there have been increasing cases in many regions.

7.28. The social and economic disadvantages that women face make them especially vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, as illustrated, for example, by their exposure to the high-risk sexual behaviour of their partners. For women, the symptoms of infections from sexually transmitted diseases are often hidden, making them more difficult to diagnose than in men and the health consequences are often greater, including increased risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy. The risk of transmission from infected men to women is also greater than from infected women to men, and many women are powerless to take steps to protect themselves.