31.2  Transmission and risk factors for STIs

31.2.1  Transmission of STIs

Now you are going to learn about how STIs are transmitted from one person to another person. As the name implies, by far the most common mode of transmission of STIs is sexual transmission. The modes of transmission could be vaginal or anal sex. In Ethiopia, most STIs in relation to sexual transmission are through the vaginal route (though cases of anal transmission are also common). Heterosexual (sexual intercourse with an individual of the opposite sex) transmission is the most common mode of transmission of STIs. Another mode of transmission is mother-to-child during pregnancy (e.g. HIV and syphilis), at delivery (e.g. gonorrhoea and chlamydia), and during breastfeeding (e.g. HIV). Rarely STIs can also be transmitted through unsafe use of unsterile needles or injections, or coming in contact with contaminated blood or blood products (e.g. syphilis, HIV and hepatitis).

  • From your previous studies, what are the common modes of transmission of HIV in Ethiopia?

  • Sexual transmission is by far the most common mode of transmission; next comes transmission of HIV from mothers to children.

31.1  Introduction to sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

31.2.2  Risk factors for STIs