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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) include a large group of widespread infectious diseases, which may cause acute symptoms, chronic infections and severe long term complications.The control and prevention of these infections are public health priorities for several reasons: • the large number of people that acquire an STI per year; • the major proportion of asymptomatic infected individuals; • the high circulation in patients with sexual risk behavior (young adults, pluripartner, men who have sex with men, foreigners, commercial sex workers); • increased biological susceptibility of some subjects, such as young adults (immature genital tissues and more receptive to pathogens), women (genital apparatus more complex and extended in which pathogens are more likely to settle), or individuals carrying states of severe immunodeficiency; • the serious complications in the event of failure or incorrect diagnosis and treatment (chronic disease, infertility, oncogenic transformation, synergy with HIV infection); • the possibility of preventing and treating many of these infections. Therefore, recent guidelines from international agencies have recommended countries from the European Union to improve epidemiological STI surveillance systems in order to standardize data collection to facilitate their comparability between different geographical areas and to improve the information flow for faster tracking of the impact; furthermore, to extend surveillance to widespread, but often asymptomatic, disease (e.g. Chlamydia trachomatis), to conduct behavioural surveillance in patients with STIs, to increase public awareness of the role of STIs in the transmission/acquisition of HIV, and to increase the commitment of institutions in the prevention and control of STIs.
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