Safe Love, Healthy Lives: Tackling Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Shimla
Dr Vibha Thakur, and Dr Swati Sharma*
Department of Microbiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Dr. Swati Sharma
Abstract: Background: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) pose a significant global public health challenge, affecting individuals and communities. In the scenic region of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, addressing the impact of STDs is crucial for the well-being of the local population and contributes to global STD control efforts. Materials & Methods: This cross-sectional survey, conducted between April and June 2023 in District Shimla, involved 400 adults residing in urban (66.75%) and rural (33.25%) areas. A structured questionnaire assessed participants' knowledge of STDs, covering aspects such as transmission, prevention, and treatment. Data analysis was conducted using Epi Info V7 Software. Results: Findings revealed varying levels of knowledge among participants. While 82.25% understood the nature and causes of STDs, 71.75% could name common STDs, and 66.25% correctly identified modes of transmission. Notably, 70.5% dispelled misconceptions about casual contact. However, knowledge gaps existed regarding treatment options (28%) and antibiotic-resistant strains (24.5%). Approximately 54.75% recognized the role of individuals and communities in raising STD awareness. Conclusion: Shimla's residents exhibit reasonable awareness of STDs, emphasizing the importance of prompt STD management. Nonetheless, targeted education efforts are needed to address knowledge gaps, particularly in treatment and antibiotic resistance. Enhancing sexual health knowledge in Shimla aligns with global STD control goals.
Keywords: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STD awareness, STD knowledge, Shimla, public health, India.