Sexually transmitted infections in travelers: implications for prevention and control

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 15;39(4):533-8. doi: 10.1086/422721. Epub 2004 Aug 3.


Sexually transmissible diseases (STDs), the most common notifiable infectious conditions, remain major threats to reproductive and public health worldwide. Travelers are particularly vulnerable to STDs, because of voluntary or involuntary sexual behavior while abroad, and are significant vectors who introduce new pathogens and resistant strains to unaffected parts of the world. This article outlines some key issues that travel medicine specialists and other clinicians should revisit when providing services to travelers. We discuss obstacles to promoting sexual health, including the diversity of the target group, unanticipated opportunities for sexual risk, ambivalent cooperation by the travel and tourism industries, poorly developed travel health sectors, illegal migration and sex tourism, and lack of research about the association between travel and STDs. We also outlined some programmatic aspects of public health that should be identified and addressed for the promotion of sexual health among travelers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Travel / trends*