[Sexually transmitted diseases and travel].Med Trop (Mars) 1997; 57(4 Bis):501-4MT
Travelers are highly exposed to acquiring sexually transmitted diseases especially since the most popular destinations are high risk areas. While this risk applies to all travelers, it is highest for the "sex" tourist who is typically a male with a mean age of 38 years. Awareness of risks is still incomplete, especially with regard to HIV. Several studies have shown that only 20% to 70% of travelers use condoms. This finding accounts for the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases in returning travelers: 2% to 10%. The risk of HIV infection is particularly high for persons living abroad. Based on available data, we can define the typical profile of the high risk traveler who should be targeted for prevention. Prevention depends on providing adequate information before departure, especially concerning HIV infection. Use of a condom throughout sexual contact is a basic safety rule. However condom quality is poor in many developing countries. Returning travelers should seek medical advice if manifestations involving the anogenital regions should appear.