The month of July is being observed as about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Awareness and Prevention Month under the theme ‘Partners Together for an STI Free Grenada.’
The month focuses on awareness about Sexually Transmitted Infections with emphasis on prevention. This theme is an invitation to all stakeholders and partners to work with the health sector to bring about a higher level of awareness and action. Together we can significantly reduce the spread of STIs and other infections that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. It also calls for sexual partners to share the responsibility for prevention and, where necessary, treatment of STIs.
The Ministry of Health, therefore, reminds the public and, in particular, people in the reproductive age group, that STIs can have serious implications for general and reproductive health and can severely impede the growth and development of the unborn child.
The Ministry also informs the public that there are some STIs for which there is NO cure. These include Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis B and HTLV. These, however, can be successfully treated but if left untreated can cause severe damages and even death. It is also important to note that Gonorrhea, once successfully treated with antibiotics, is becoming increasingly drug resistant.
The public is therefore urged to let the month remind you of your role in protecting yourselves and your loved ones from all Sexually Transmitted Infections and other infections that may be spread through sexual contact. It is therefore prudent to use a condom each time you are going to have sex if unsure of your status and that of your partner.
Get tested for STIs. Avoid using illegal drugs and use alcoholic beverages moderately. Also, ensure that ALL children and teenagers are informed about STIs and are protected from all forms of abuse or any activity that may encourage them to get involved in sexual activity. Finally, anyone who has an STI or symptoms that may indicate an STI must consult a healthcare provider and ensure that all partners are also treated to avoid re-infection.