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An Ounce of Prevention

Edward W. Hook III, MD
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From the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL 35294-0007.

Acknowledgment: The author thanks Ward Cates for his helpful review of this paper.

Grant Support: In part by contract NIH-NIAID-DMID-04-09 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinical Trials Group.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Grants received : National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinical Trials Group.

Requests for Single Reprints: Edward W. Hook III, MD, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 703 19th Street South, ZRB 242, Birmingham, AL 35294-0007; e-mail, ehook@uab.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(10):751-752. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-143-10-200511150-00014
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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV infections, are a global health priority. There are more than 20 sexually transmitted bacterial and viral infections. Each causes substantial long- and short-term morbidity and, in the case of HIV, mortality for infected persons, for their sexual partners, and for children born to infected mothers (1). Sexually transmitted diseases are a causal factor in the pathogenesis of squamous-cell carcinoma of the genital tract, a leading preventable cause of tubal factor infertility and ectopic pregnancy; are associated with adverse outcomes of pregnancy; and amplify risk for acquisition and transmission of HIV.

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