Travel-associated sexually transmitted infections: An observational cross-sectional study of the Geo-Sentinel surveillance database

Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy. Electronic address: .
The Lancet Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 22.43). 11/2012; 13(3). DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(12)70291-8
Source: PubMed


BACKGROUND: Travel is thought to be a risk factor for the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but no multicentre analyses have been done. We aimed to describe the range of diseases and the demographic and geographical factors associated with the acquisition of travel-related STIs through analysis of the data gathered by GeoSentinel travel medicine clinics worldwide.
METHODS: We gathered data from ill travellers visiting GeoSentinel clinics worldwide between June 1, 1996, and Nov 30, 2010, and analysed them to identify STIs in three clinical settings: after travel, during travel, or immigration travel. We calculated proportionate morbidity for each of the three traveller groups and did logistic regression to assess the association between STIs and demographic, geographical, and travel variables.
FINDINGS: Our final analysis was of 112 180 ill travellers-64 335 patients seen after travel, 38 287 patients seen during travel, and 9558 immigrant patients. 974 patients (0·9%) had diagnoses of STIs, and 1001 STIs were diagnosed. The proportionate STI morbidities were 6·6, 10·2, and 16·8 per 1000 travellers in the three groups, respectively. STIs varied substantially according to the traveller category. The most common STI diagnoses were non-gonococcal or unspecified urethritis (30·2%) and acute HIV infection (27·6%) in patients seen after travel; non-gonococcal or unspecified urethritis (21·1%), epididymitis (15·2%), and cervicitis (12·3%) in patients seen during travel; and syphilis in immigrant travellers (67·8%). In ill travellers seen after travel, significant associations were noted between diagnosis of STIs and male sex, travelling to visit friends or relatives, travel duration of less than 1 month, and not having pretravel health consultations.
INTERPRETATION: The range of STIs varies substantially according to traveller category. STI preventive strategies should be particularly targeted at men and travellers visiting friends or relatives. Our data suggest target groups for pretravel interventions and should assist in post-travel screening and decision making.
FUNDING: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and International Society of Travel Medicine.


Available from: Patricia Schlagenhauf
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    • "Despite the fact that its transmission coefficient during sexual contacts is much lower than that of syphilis, requiring a large amount of exposure to ensure a high probability of transmission, a substantial burden of incident HIV infection has also been demonstrated among travelers [4]. In the GeoSentinel analysis the proportionate morbidity estimates of incident HIV infection (ie, the time from acquisition until 4e6 months after infection) in ill travelers was the second most common STI diagnosis in patients seen after travel [4]. Acute HIV infection was diagnosed in 117 (0.18%) of 64 335 patients seen after travel. "

    Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 12/2013; 12(1). DOI:10.1016/j.tmaid.2013.11.006 · 1.67 Impact Factor

  • The Lancet Infectious Diseases 11/2012; 13(3). DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(12)70271-2 · 22.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The phenomenon of women travelling in search of relationships with local men in developing countries has been studied for the last 20 years. However, it appears little known in travel medicine. Methods Relevant literature was found through PubMed, ScienceDirect, ProQuest and Google Scholar. The reference lists of selected articles identified further sources. Results Historical records of women travellers to far-away countries abound. Then, as now, women not only searched for the erotic ‘other’ but made romance and sex the purpose of their trip. Today, increasing numbers of women travel to destinations in developing countries where sex with local men is the main attraction. This pastime raises concerns not only for the women themselves but for the local men involved as well as their sex partners and the local communities. Conclusions Although more research is necessary, comparing the criteria that describe men travelling for sex and relationships and women travelling for sex and relationships appears to suggest that there is very little difference between the two, regardless of what the pursuit is called. Women looking for sex with local men are sex tourists, too. Recognition of this fact needs to influence the pre and post travel care of female travellers.
    Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 01/2013; 12(1). DOI:10.1016/j.tmaid.2013.09.003 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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