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Risk factors of STIs
Risk factors of STIs
STIs are also known as STDs, coital infections or veneral diseases (VDs). STIs include infections caused by virus, bacteria, protozoa, parasites, etc. They are infections or diseases which are transmitted from infected persons to others through any form of unprotected pareunia or contact.

STIs are infections which are primarily spread from an infected person to another through any form of unprotected coition or contact. Sometimes, even mere non coital contact is just enough to transmit the disease.

Most STIs do not present any clinical manifestations or signs and symptoms in some persons even days or months after exposure. This therefore increases the risk of spreading the infections or diseases from one person to another unwittingly.

Some or most STIs may not cause any noticeable damage to your health immediately, or it may even not present any uncomfortable signs and symptoms since most of the times, people do not know that they are infected with STIs until they are tested. But surely, these infections eventually lead to serious health complications.

What is a Risk Factor?
A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chances of developing or getting a disease. It is important to note that having a risk factor does not necessarily mean that he/ she will develop the disease. This is because risk factors does not cause the disease, rather they help or promote the possibilities of getting or contracting it. Sometimes, people who do not have risk factors still develop it. Generally, the more risk factors a person have, the higher the tendency for him/ her to develop or contract the infection or disease.

Risk factors
The risk factors of STIs are the factors which increases a person's chances of developing or contracting an STI. Below are some of the risk factors which are specific to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Active Pareunia
Just being coitally active is enough to contract STIs. Anyone who is actively engaging in pareunia is at risk of been exposed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Unprotected coition
Having unprotected pareunia increases your chances of contracting STIs. Most times, even non coital contact places you at a very high risk of contracting STIs. Although the use of condoms or other barriers reduces the risk of spreading and/ or contracting STIs, it is important to note that; improper or inconsistent use of condoms can also increase your chances of contracting STIs.

Having multiple partners
Having multiple pareunia partners increases your risk of contracting STIs. The more coital partners you have, the more prone you become to coital infections or the higher your chances of getting infected with veneral diseases. As such, you would not be able to trace the origin of such infections; should you be infected and there is also an increased tendency of spreading the STIs to the other parners who may otherwise be free.

People who are victims of rape or those that have been abused sexually are at risk of contracting STIs. In such circumstances, the rapist or assailants may be infected with any one or two of the many STIs and may not have the patience or dignity to use protection (condoms or any other barrier) during the act/ "crime". This simply puts the victim at risk.

The use and/ or abuse of alcohol and/ or other recreational drugs can increase your chances of getting or contracting STIs. This is because such drugs can impede or inhibits your judgement, therefore making you participate in or do things such as; group pareunia, unprotected coition, rape, drug and intercourse and other vices which naturally or ordinarily you wouldn't do.

History of STIs
Having previously contracted coital infections is just enough to increases your chances of getting infected with another episode of STIs. Some persons have not properly treated their previously contracted STIs, therefore they experiences relapse after a period of time, and such persons can spread it unknowingly.

Age is another potent factor that often determines one chances of contracting STIs. Being young is a strong or salient predictor of your chances of getting infected. In a survey conducted among a population of young adults, it was discovered that; adolescents have a higher chances of contracting STIs such as chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, etc.  when compared to older people.

Some other factors which may increase your chances of getting or contracting STIs are;
  1. Prostitution,
  2. Sharing of needles,
  3. Use of shape unsterilized objects,
  4. Use of birth control pills without condoms,
  5. Race or ethnicity,
  6. Having high risk pareunia partners,
  7. Inconsistent or improper use of condoms,
  8. Homosexuality,
  9. Bestiality,
  10. Drugs (illicit or illegal),
  11. Transfusion of unscreened blood,
  12. Use of dirty and/ or contaminated toilets,
  13. Taking of contaminated food and drinks, etc.

It is pertinent to note that, one major reason for increasing risk factors of veneral diseases is lack of awareness. In a recent survey carried out by Titilola Falasinnu, a lecturer of the department of population and public health in the university of British Columbia revailed that, under reporting of risky behaviours (risk factors) is a longstanding issue in public health worldwide. The researcher went ahead to conclude that, the public should be made to understand that the consistent and proper use of condoms limits or reduces the acquisition of STIs, and that the use and/ or abuse of drugs (recreational, illegal or illicit) and alcohol in coital relationship often lead to reduced judgement and impede the rate at which protections and other types of protective barriers are used.

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