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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Online ISSN 1827-1820
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS AND DISEASES: OLD AND NEW CHALLENGES - PART I
Silvestri C. 1, Giomi B. 2, Colli L. 2, Berti A. 1, Voller F. 1, Cipriani F. 1, Zuccati G. 2
1 Epidemiology Unit, Regional Health Agency of Tuscany, Florence, Italy;
2 Unit for STI, Department of Dermatological Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
AIM: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are increasing worldwide, mostly due to changing sexual behavior s (larger numbers of sexual partners, concurrent relationships, increasing proportion of adolescents engaging in sexual intercourse at young age, and inconsistent condom use with new partners). In Italy, few data are available about STI spread, since most infections are not subjected to mandatory notification.
METHODS:In this article, the occurrence of STIs in a random sample attending a STI Unit in Florence, Italy, is reported. Results were obtained through the administration of an anonymous questionnaire that patients could complete spontaneously in the waiting room while waiting for the visit. Self-reported questions allowed to collect information about socio-demographic and clinical data, sexual behavior and perception of risk.
RESULTS:Overall, 469 patients (321 males, 148 females) participated in the study. Age ranged from 16 to 70 years. Male patients who referred to engage sexual intercourse with men (MSM) were 133; females who had sex with women (FSF) were 5, while 24 patients declared to have sex with both males and females (bisexual); 59.7% (N.=280) of participants reported they had a stable relationship, but 20% of these reported they had had sex with more than five partners during the last 12 months. The use of condoms is declared to be very infrequent, especially in the two extreme age ranges. Fifty percent of patients had been diagnosed an STI in their life, particularly syphilis (39.3%), genital warts (64.6%) and chlamydial infections (42.9%). Among those subjects who had contracted an STI (including non-curable viral infections, i.e., HIV and herpes genitalis) 32.4% referred they never used condoms.
CONCLUSION:The authors discuss their results compared to the existing literature, and focus on identification of risk factors associated with self-reported STIs. Although conducted on a small population, this study provides a basis for targeting prevention and control strategies on our high-risk patients.