Determinants of evolving epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are equally influenced by the evolution of the STD epidemics themselves and by the evolution of human societies. A temporal approach to STD transmission dynamics suggests the need to monitor infectivity, rate of exposure between infected and susceptible individuals, and duration of infectiousness in societies. Different indicators may be used to monitor rate of exposure in the general population and in core groups. In addition, underlying determinants of STD epidemics such as poverty, inequality, racial/ethnic discrimination, unemployment, sex ratio, volume of migration, and health care coverage and quality are important variables to monitor through a surveillance system focused on social context. Ongoing large scale societal changes including urbanisation, globalisation, increasing inequality, and increasing volume of migrant populations may affect the evolution of STD epidemics. Globalised STD epidemics could pose a major challenge to local public health systems.
- sexually transmitted disease
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