Sexual Assault Infectious Disease Prophylaxis

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.


Sexually transmitted infections, STIs, are a feared sequela of sexual assault. The most common sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in female survivors of sexual assault are chlamydia, gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Survivors who develop infections are burdened with long-term complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and some cancers, so prevention is highly desired. Recommendations for appropriate management after a sexual assault have changed several times over the last decade. Treatment for STI after sexual assault varies by country and sometimes within a country, depending on local resistance and patterns of infections. The prevalence of certain infections and antibiotic susceptibility continues to change and evolve. New sexually acquired infections may appear over time, like HIV in the 1980s. New medications that are effective against certain STIs, like HIV, have also been developed in the last half-century. The following information follows current recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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