This section discusses the management of the most common clinical syndromes caused by sexually transmitted agents. Flow charts (algorithms) for the management of each syndrome are provided.
For all these conditions (except vaginitis) the sexual partner(s) of patients should also be examined for STI and promptly treated for the same condition(s) as the index patient.
Successful management of STI requires that staff are respectful of patients and are not judgmental. Examination must be done in appropriate surroundings where privacy can be ensured and confidentiality guaranteed. When dealing with adolescents, the health care provider should be reassuring, experienced and conversant with the changes in anatomy and physiology associated with the different maturation stages e.g. the menarche in young girls or nocturnal emissions in boys. In some situations, health care workers require training to overcome their own sensitivities and be able to address the issue of sexuality and STI in an open and constructive manner.